Why our COVID-19 guidelines should prioritize the grocery store clerk - 2020-03-27
How can we help and support the people whose work puts them at risk for COVID-19 — not just healthcare workers, but folks who are still going to work everyday as grocery clerks or delivery people or bus drivers?
I've been thinking about this a lot, because I'm conscious that for people in those roles, as well as people who live in tiny spaces and/or on low incomes, social distancing is a tall order. The ability to work from home correlates with all kinds of social and class privilege; the ability to tolerate a housebound existence depends on your home and situation; the opportunity to grocery shop for one or two weeks at a time depends on cashflow.
When it comes to putting social distancing into practice, our family is privileged in every way. My husband and I already worked from home, and already homeschooled one of our kids; only one member of our family finds themselves newly homebound. We have every kind of device and gadget you might need in order to stay happy and productive inside this house, and you might argue that we've been in training for this moment for the past fifteen years, since we mostly spent our time online and at home, anyhow. Most of all, we have the money and time for things like stocking up on groceries, disinfecting all incoming packages and purchases, and coming up with a way to measure the 6-foot distance I need to keep with my walking buddy. We've been able to effectively seal off all social contact with minimal consequences.