They’ve gone camping to stay safe at work.
At a Philadelphia supermarket, the cashier’s side of each checkout line has been outfitted with a tent-like plastic enclosure, keeping essential workers safe while on the job.Alexander Tavares, 19, captured now-viral footage of the new working conditions, constructed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at a store on March 25. In the video, Tavares walks past the transparent plastic sheet-covered checkouts, pausing at one where a cashier exits the enclosure to spritz disinfectant toward the camera. After posting to the clip to social media, it quickly racked up close to a million views.“That’s a grocery store that cares about its employees,” commented one viewer.
“Protecting the workers, who are also on the front line,” another noted. The shop opted to take extreme measures to protect the workers after a mid-April report that at least two dozen food-industry workers in the US. One grocery clerk even left behind a heartbreaking goodbye video for her family on her phone after contracting COVID-19.
Many supermarkets were slow to impose measures to protect workers, with Trader Joe’s reportedly not allowing register attendants to wear gloves, and the massive chain Publix was forbidding workers from wearing masks into late March.
While online grocery shopping may seem like an ideal alternative, forgoing the dangers of in-store shopping, web-based grocers have been struggling to keep up with the demand caused by the coronavirus. Many services also face limited staff and obstacles to scaling up in the middle of a pandemic. The crisis has revealed certain previously unknown facts about shoppers’ buying habits. Certain items are the last to go and remain on shelves while other entire aisles continuously empty faster than they can be restocked.
This article has been retrieved from the NYP on 5.13.20: