To Whom It May Concern,
G’day mates! No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke, it really is a new post by me, on my increasingly misnamed blog (I should probably change it to iblogonceinabluemoon.com). To whatever subscribed readers and/or lurkers that I have left, I hope you’re all staying safe as much as possible.
To give an update on myself, I live in Southern California. I work as a shipper in a warehouse for an orthopedic supplies manufacturer, so that’s wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, bath benches, etc. Earlier in the month we began taking various measures to protect against the coronavirus. Bringing in rubber gloves, disinfecting things multiple times a day, a few people in our front office in accounting and customer service were switched to work from home. And then on Thursday the 19th, at night, our Governor issued a shelter in place order for the whole state. So we were shut down the following Friday, but then it was determined that we will stay open. We are an “essential business,” people and medical offices need our products, we also supply to Amazon, especially now.
So I’m still going out to work during the week. We’ve instituted even more policies to try to stay as safe as possible. Gloves and masks, we’ve got hand sanitizer right at the door so anytime anyone comes in they have to use that first. Now, most of the front office are rotating working from home, so there are only a few people in our front office here each day. But of course, for us in the warehouse, working for home isn’t an option, so we have to come in. Although they have released all the regular temps we had working with us, so it’s only employees. We’re also maintaining a 6-feet apart at all times policy. The boss is also buying everyone lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, both to support local food services and to eliminate the need for people to go out to lunch. None of this is fool-proof of course, but we’re trying.
I won’t lie, a big part of me wishes I could just stay home until this all blows over. That Thursday night, when the order came down, I was ready to buckle in for the long haul. I got my bottled water and toilet paper, so I’m good.
And, of course, as a proud member of Generation X, I’m totally equipped to spend time by myself.
When I got the call that Friday afternoon from my supervisor, saying that we would be going back to work that Monday, my immediate reaction was to say “are you fucking kidding me?!?” But I quickly realized that it makes sense.
First, our products are important for those who need them. I won’t compare myself to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals, but people do count on us, so I’m glad to do what I can to continue to help people during this crisis. And coming to work every day does help me feel “normal,” so that’s good. And I know I really shouldn’t be complaining, considering how much worse these shutdowns are affecting others, including entire industries. Sure enough, within an hour after I got that call about going back to work, one of my online friends announced that she had just gotten laid off. And I have several friends in that same boat, and I know over 3 million people have filed for unemployment because of this. But I still have a steady job and income, so my bills can keep getting paid. So there is that. And I will credit my boss, she has a farm in Oregon that should easily go ride this thing out in safety, but she’s coming into the office every day, not asking her employees to do anything that she isn’t prepared to herself. She’s also guaranteed everyone 2 weeks of sick time, even if you’ve already used all your days, so if you do get sick, or start to feel sick, you can just stay home and not risk coming in ands infecting others because you’re afraid to lose your job.
So, again, yeah, I’ve got it better than many others. But still, I keep checking the news during the day and every time I read about new cases of the virus, or the death toll rising, I do get nervous about being out in public, because I don’t want to catch this. And it’s not even just dying, I see some folks trying to “put this in perspective” by bringing up other things that kill more people, but just reading some of the experiences from some folks survived it is scary enough. I don’t want to spend two weeks in bed with a 103 degree fever, a sore throat and struggling to breathe. That doesn’t sound like a fun experience.
So most days it’s just straight to and from work, but still, there’s risks. And sometimes I do have to stop at the gas station, or quick store trips, but I do always bring some rubber gloves with me. But I hate when I see so many other folks out who don’t look like they need to be out, nor seem to be taking it seriously enough. C’mon, people, I know it can be rough, but we need to fight this, and staying in and social distancing is the best method we have. So please, do what you can, and stay indoors. Together, we can get through this.
I hope everyone out there is staying safe and doing well. Take care.