Some days are permeated by a sense of dread that simply won’t leave you. This is sadly become the norm for many Canadians, as well as individuals globally when they face an average day at work. COVID-19 has spread fear far more quickly than it spreads the virus, and society has been crippled by the ensuing paranoia and anxiety that produced by trying to avoid the virus. As more and more businesses move towards opening, or relaxing restrictions in place, the worker must return to fill the roles needed for operating the store, kitchen, or other tasks. The grim reality of the situation manifests clearly when you force people who would otherwise not chose to be at their stations to be present. “The pessimism, stresses and general depression become common amongst workers and staff who are only attending to work as a last resort of means” the Toronto Star found after polling a large sample of people working in the city during July. More and more people are working out of a necessity to make rent, largely because of an inability to qualify for the CERB or similar programs. This has shaken most businesses badly and left the staff there in states of fear and uncertain about a pandemic that is still widely accelerating its spread.
Despite the stringent moves from all levels of government to establish proper protocols for working in the COVID world, most of these can’t address the psychological strain that comes with attendance. Every customer could be a potential carrier, especially those who do so asymptomatically and have little reasons to suspect they’re transmitting anything. General populations have been great with mandatory mask wearing, but often individuals are seen flaunting these rules, protesting the mandates for masks and otherwise doing things to not adhere to the protocols. These are the exact kinds of threats that our frontline workers and retail sector employees face. Wildly uncooperative persons who enter your business without a mask not only present an infection risk as their medical history is unknown, but they also have patterned behavior of causing damage or resorting to misbehavior when asked to abide by the regulations and don a mask.
Our most vulnerable people are the ones keeping our society running right now, those on the front lines. Nurses, store owners, grocery clerks, and everyone in between provide a vital service. But they’re just as scared about their health as the next person; they simply lack the ability or opportunity to stay home to be safe. So for the people who face these challenges on a daily basis, the l least we can do is keep them as safe as possible, and as mentality healthy as can be too. Maintaining positivity is a big factor in us all making it through this!
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