The Year of 2020 COVID 19

An Essential Workers Perspective

posted on April 13, 2020 by Al Bell

“Just Getting Started”

By the end of March 2020, the United States had reported over 180,000 cases with more expected. The country as a whole was trying to get comfortable in the directives to Stay home. Many seem to be settling and accepting the fact there would be some time before the pandemic slowed down enough to help things get back to the way they were.

Short North Area

Deserted streets on Friday evening. Usually sidewalks are fully populated.

The orders by respected health and government entities were to continue to maintain social distancing, wash the hands thoroughly and frequently, if coughing or sneezing do so in your elbow, and to diligently disinfect areas touched. Many stores were out of hand sanitizer, bleach or anything of the sort designed to clean and disinfect. In order to reinforce social distancing essential merchants who were still open instituted floor markings spaced at least 6ft apart or limited customer access in store. I could remember going to get a burrito at my favorite burrito place and noticing floor markings spaced at least 6 feet apart. Even up to the serving plexiglass. Not being aware, I was quickly informed to be mindful of maintaining the 6 feet to observe the social distancing. For more information on coronavirus.

Short North Area

Deserted streets on Friday evening, Usually sidewalks are fully populated.

As an essential worker I personally noted changes. Some were more prevalent than others. For instance, during my morning commute to the office there are plenty of road vehicles to maneuver around on the freeway. These days the amount of road vehicles is minimal making the commute sort of uneventful and quiet. As mentioned earlier, the few restaurants I go to have enforced social distancing rules by marking the floor with tape spaced at least 6 feet apart.

On March 27, 2020 lawmakers in the United States congress signed the largest economic relief package ever in the amount of 2 Trillion dollars called the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). The Aid and Relief economic security package would provide some financial relief for those employees out of work due to COVID-19, business loans to those large and small businesses affected by coronavirus, financial relief funding for those in the healthcare system and financial assistance to State and Local governments who have been impacted by Coronavirus.

The days for me were filled and torn with thankfulness and concern. Thankful to be alive and working in an uncertain environment. You see, although being considered an essential worker and still employed there were many who were not. Aside from the essential businesses there were those who worked for companies who had to shut their doors because of COVID-19 and the Statewide Order to “Stay at Home”. Besides for a few neighbors of mine who left for work in the morning many moms, dads, and kids, were home.

There was concern of exposure since I had to leave the safety net of the home and brave the days unfolding events. When I thought deeper about this though it paled in comparison to frontline workers who came face to face with patients affected by the virus. My concern turned to a moment of prayer for protection, wisdom, and strength for those leaders and workers confronting the issue and sickness every day.

The month of March 2020 was filled with revelation for sure. I shared with a friend that I had been dealing with another unrelated life learning situation only 6-8 months prior and how things have changed. No one knew that today we would be discussing “Stay at Home” orders across the States and that many would fall sick to this Coronavirus. I noted just how life could turn in a moments time and he agreed.

There are lessons for sure to glean from during this crisis and one that most certainly stands out is the importance of planning. I will share more about this later but for now I will leave this thought. Planning is always a key tool used in any aspect of running a business of any size. Its importance is as valuable as any human needing oxygen to stay alive.

With regards to Coronavirus attacking the United States, the question remains what was the initial plan in place to help defend against it?

Amelia Barr


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