The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shown a different side of life to everyone. People who are privileged enough to a have job that allows them to work from home and still earn a stable income, they’re working and “chilling” in their homes. People who are stuck in foreign countries, they’re panicking, longing for their loved ones.
However, the pandemic has become a case of life-and-death for some.
People who have non-essential jobs but aren’t privileged enough to have the luxury to work from home, they’re struggling for finances. People who are essential workers are bearing the brunt of this pandemic, from healthcare providers to grocery store employees.
Mai Henry worked 4 jobs before the pandemic. Lockdowns lost her 3 of them, except one at the grocery store.
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The fear of the pandemic and consequent lockdowns triggered a panic-buying spree in the country. People rushed to the supermarkets to stock up on supplies.
“We were inundated with customers buying up our hand sanitizing products, immune supplements like vitamin C, elderberry, echinacea, and zinc. When these were completely out, we supplied them with recipes to make their own sanitizers with natural ingredients.”
“All of our water and toilet paper supplies were depleted. After a few days more, customers cleared our grocery shelves of non-perishable food products. Then, all our frozen goods.”
Grocery store workers are considered essential workers, meaning that they have to work even during the lockdown. However, this doesn’t make the pandemic any less scary.
“I am exposed every day when I go to work. I wear a mask and gloves. The mask makes it difficult to breathe.”
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She added –
“Every day when I go to work, I’m hoping I don’t get sick. When I go home, I tell myself that I WILL NOT get sick. My daughters were reminding me that I’m in a vulnerable age bracket — I know they are concerned for my health. But I am healthy, strong, positive, and mostly, I am able to be of help to our customers, whom I believe just need our understanding, kindness, and empathy.”
Mai believes that even in times like these, we must not lose hope.
“I believe this will pass, and that it will bring us all closer — making us all more accepting, understanding, kinder, and appreciative of one another and all the things we have.”