Student Essential Workers Navigate COVID Protocols

Kristin Taylor, Staff Writer

  Many businesses are closed due to the pandemic, but there are still some essential businesses that have remained open. Sophomore Janie Sulecki works at Tom’s West Bay and has been since October of 2020. 

  “I started working during COVID, but it would’ve been different without the masks and we have to clean the carts, we spray them with bottles, we have to distance ourselves from each other and clean everything a lot,” Sulecki said.

      Having the employees social distance and keep their masks on is essential to preventing the spread of the virus to allow the businesses to remain open.

  “A lot of elderly people come in there, getting them sick would be really really bad, so I have to worry about what I do at school and other places so I don’t get anyone else sick,” said Sulecki.

  Sulecki isn’t the only student that works at Tom’s West Bay. Freshman, Ashton Herrera, has worked there since September of 2020. Herrera says one of the difficult parts of working during COVID is the people who refuse to wear masks.

  “One time this woman walked in the store, she wasn’t wearing a mask, I looked at her and she looked at me, we made eye contact. She went and got a cart, I went over to get my manager because we’re not supposed to talk to them if they’re not wearing a mask, the manager came over and the lady started yelling. She threw the cart really hard at me and walked out the door,” Herrera said.

  The workers and customers have to wear their masks at all times. The workers can take them off when they’re in the break room eating but other than that they stay on. There are other difficulties working during COVID such as keeping your distance.

  “One of the most difficult things is probably not getting anyone else sick and staying away from people, because you’re right next to them when they’re coming through the line,” Sulecki said  

  Not all students who have jobs are essential workers, some students can’t work because their place of work is closed at the moment due to  executive orders.

 Sophomore, Stephen Curtis has worked at Boones for about six months, but currently can not work because of the pandemic.

  “I was supposed to go back already but we’re still closed. I don’t really think we are going to open anytime soon,” Curt

is said.

  When Boones does reopen there will probably be many changes and different things, every business has had to make changes.   

  “When we go back there will probably be more restrictions and it most likely won’t be as busy because of COVID,” said Curtis. 

  The students who work have had changes to their lives, so have all the other students too.

  “I think that COVID has affected everyone’s lives negatively, not just people who work but everyone,” said Curtis.