Julia Lerner: Working During a Pandemic

June 2, 2021

In July of 2020, I got a job working at a grocery store. Grocery shopping has become very different during the pandemic.

Signs are in place to make aisles one-way traffic and to keep people six feet apart when checking out. Most people follow these guidelines and wear their masks appropriately, but not all do.

I have dealt with rowdy customers and complaints over the course of the last year. It’s exhausting.

I normally work six-hour shifts about two or three times a week. I need to wear my mask for the entire duration of that time. I’ve gotten used to it, but it annoys me when I hear people complaining about having to wear theirs’ for only a few minutes.

We even have to wear masks after the store closes while we clean up and organize shelves.

These photographs were during that time once the store was closed.

Workdays are tiring for most jobs in normal times, but with all the additional problems and steps needed to be taken to ensure people’s well-being, that fatigue multiplies as our work responsibilities do too.

This job has become one of the focal points of my life during the pandemic.

I’m a remote student who doesn’t physically go to school, and I only see a couple of friends outside of school every once in a while.

Being able to have this job keeps me sane, as it keeps me busy and connects me to the rest of the world.

In the past, I’ve only been able to have a job over the summer because of my lack of time during the school year. Now, due to the pandemic, I only have school every other day and am able to work more often now.

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