The state of New York is closer to a total lockdown… all non-essential workers are to stay home. Guess what? We in the grocery stores are considered essential workers. So much so, the company I work for is giving all hourly employees a temporary raise for the duration of the crisis. People have to eat, and need cleaning supplies. Truckers, warehouse personnel, gas station attendants, and probably convenience store clerks are all in the front ranks, as well. Right now, we seem to be almost as important as medical staff and emergency responders. Don’t know how I feel about that.
I DO know how I feel about the countless selfish little pricks who refuse to cancel Spring Break plans and continue to party hard in large groups. They don’t care if they get sick. Apparently, they don’t care if they end up giving this potentially deadly disease to other family members or friends, either. How are those little assholes going to feel when it is their grandparent, parent, younger sibling or immune-compromised friend hospitalized or DEAD, because THEY needed to party in a high risk manner? Common human decency… I can’t say it doesn’t exist any more, because I have been seeing it all around me all week.
There are teens and college students running errands for elderly family members and neighbors; school bus drivers delivering breakfasts and lunches to children stuck at home during all of this; my coworkers busting ass to make sure people can find what they need in the store, and get out in a timely, safe manner; some of us are trying to keep people’s spirits up through humor and compassion. I cannot hug any of my frightened elderly customers right now, but I can listen and talk, and let them know they aren’t alone. R, an aspiring voice actor, has been using different voices with every customer, with wacky comments, to get them to laugh or at least roll their eyes and relax for a moment or two in time. A customer this morning said “We need to spread the love!” to which I replied “Just not the germs!”