“Non-Essential" is the operative word as national and local governments around the globe tighten the screws on civilian movement outside the home. Hemming people in is the clearest way to stop the spread.
But there is a sliver of the population out there that needs to stay mobile and keep things humming along. These essential workers continue to inhabit the out-of-sight corners that prop society up.
Some of the remaining essential workers are churning forward with the work that has always been absolutely necessary to keep the daily life of everyone functioning.
Others, however, have found themselves carrying a job that suddenly adopted a profound new significance due to the particular stressors created by the virus.
Supply Chains: A Spread That CANNOT Stop
"Truck driver here. We are still out here moving that product!"
"They are doing their best to help us but since we are mostly alone in our trucks, our safety is mostly up to us."
"They have given us help getting cleaning/sanitation supplies and they have goody bags for us too. They are working on getting a system set up so we can have groceries delivered to our trucks."
"There's some precautions being taken in our offices but since I don't see them often I'm not 100% sure what the changes are. I can confirm that there is hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE available in the offices though."
Business is Booming
"I'm in Management at a grocery store. I'm still coming in. A lot of us are working a lot more hours than usual."
"Long lines every day even though we don't have a lot of stock. We opened our doors yesterday and at least 50-75 people immediately came in to take whatever small amount of toilet paper and paper towels we had."
At Least the Dogs Don’t Carry It
"Dog groomer here, boss says that we're not shutting down until someone knocks on our door telling us to stop."
"Almost everything in my city is shut down except grocery stores and hospitals. The staff is not exactly happy about it, but we don't get pto and as a small business we may not have a job when this is all over."
"So work while we can, I guess."
The Silent Heroes
"I'm a sysadmin. I have 3 times the remote users right now. Life is hell." -- realmaier
"I am so sorry. I'm one of those folks working remotely. We need you!" -- OSCgal
"BUT I NEED IT FIXED NOWWWWW!! Seriously though, this is one of the reasons I'm always nice to the IT guys." -- Tandybaum
An Environment that Cannot Social Distance
"I'm a therapist in a large prison complex. We're starting to list only essential staff, we're all a little paranoid because while the inmates are largely okay, until someone brings it in and then it's going to spread quickly. There have been a few cases but so far they're all quarantined."
"Overall, it hasn't been great. But it's foreboding because it's probably going to get worse."
At Least they Wear Those Booties
"I work in Telecommunications, cable guy/phone/TV, and we are still going into people's houses, sick or not."
"Different procedures are being added but the procedures don't really change they fact that we are making stupid and pointless house calls because little Jimmy is complaining of lag on Fortnite."
"We are considered essential because of phone for life alert and internet. Oh well."
"I work in potable water treatment for a town. We have to be here, or no water for the town. We are starting to explore ways to minimize the workforce here, but it is tough. Lots of testing, recording, maintenance etc." -- Jfonzy
"Other side of the coin here, wastewater treatment (UK), if we don't keep things running the sh*t will quite literally hit the fan!" -- 20namesandcounting
A Forgotten Population to Keep Alice
"Yes. I'm a horticulturist at a botanical garden. My team is coming in to care for the plants so that we don't lose irreplaceable collections. We work isolated in different greenhouses. I'm so thankful to still have income right now." -- LaeliaCatt
Added, Not Replaced
"I'm a surgeon...no one is arguing about staying at home."
"It's easy to forget that despite the virus, people are still breaking bones, rupturing their appendix, having heart attacks, etc. We have to treat the same load of emergencies with less than half the resources."
"Not to mention the people with the virus and a surgical condition."
Petty Gets the Axe
"I'm a police officer."
"We're pretty much only handling 'emergent' calls. So your barking dog complaint or 'my neighbor is violating HOA rules' (yes people call for that) are basically being ignored by us."
"I don't want to say ignored, but you get what I'm saying."