10 Ways We Can All Be Nicer to Essential Workers during COVID-19

seller in a protective mask standing in front of the counter with fruit. coronavirus in the city

Things are still chaotic as the public adjusts to the new normal that is living life during a pandemic. While many have been laid off work due to the threat, many others, deemed essential, are still working. These include, but are not limited to: doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, bus and delivery drivers. Many of these essential workers have constant contact with the public. Below are 10 simple ways you can be nicer to essential workers you come across. 

 Stay home if feeling unwell.

This should be obvious, but if you or someone close to you is feeling unwell please stay home until you are better. The symptoms to look out for include fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, body chills, and fatigue. If you believe you are sick with COVID-19 get tested and follow these guidelines.

Be patient.

Long lines suck. Waiting in general is something no one likes to do. Right now there’s DMV-like lines to get into grocery stores and hospitals. Waiting can make a lot of people unhappy but please do not take it out on the staff as they are just doing their jobs. Thankfully we live in the digital age and you can spend that time waiting learning how to better yourself. Whether it be your diet, or learning what workout style is best for you, the internet has it all.

Be considerate by keeping your mask on.

A lot of people think they become muted when they are wearing a mask and will remove it to talk to someone. Please, please, please do not do this. You can speak while wearing a mask you may just need to speak up to be heard clearly. The whole point of wearing a mask is to stop droplets that may contain the virus from spreading and removing your mask to speak defeats this purpose. 

 Only touching things you are going to use/buy.

It is easy to grab something that catches your eye and look at it, however right now is not the time to pick up random objects/products that you are not planning to buy. Create a grocery list before you go to the store and touch only the items you plan on buying. This helps stop the spread of the virus on surfaces. Many people are asymptomatic but can still pass the virus on to others. 

 Say please and thank you. 

 Demanding things is demeaning. Saying please and thank you goes a long way. You don’t know how long an essential worker has been on their shift when you interact with them. That being so, be kind and request instead of demanding things from them. 

 Understanding rules are rules and workers are not able to go around them.

Due to a lot of people panic buying essential items in the beginning of this outbreak, many grocery stores have begun to place limits on products such as: toilet paper, paper towels, flour, sugar, pasta, and tomato sauces. It is not a grocery clerk’s decision, it is company policy and must be respected to ensure others are able to buy crucial items as well. 

Keeping six feet apart, even with a mask on.

 Some people may not have caught COVID-19, but instead have caught nasty attitudes when essential workers ask them to back up and give them space. Yes, both parties may be wearing a mask, however the mask is a filter and works best when there is social distancing as well. Do not be offended, just understand these are difficult times and everyone is just trying to stay safe. 

Do not touch workers with or without gloves on.

Human beings are social animals and touch is very important to us, especially in Western countries. We shake hands, hug, and constantly touch each other, most times without even realizing it. While essential workers understand this, do not be offended when they ask you to please not touch them. It is for your safety as well as theirs. 

  Leave small children at home.

 Children are the least likely to get the virus, however they are still able to spread it to others. Small children are curious about everything and constantly put their hands in their mouths, and then rub their hands all over everything they can touch. Because of this, please be thoughtful and keep small children at home when running errands that require you to exit your car. 

Appreciating employees working during a pandemic.

 Though it is definitely not necessary to, it is always appreciated to hear gratitude with sayings such as: “Thank you for working” from someone visiting an essential establishment. Most essential workers do not have a choice and must work to earn a check and pay their bills. So, when a member of the public thanks an essential worker for doing their job it can help make their day a little brighter.

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