COVID-19 affects local workers
By Alexander Wolf, Reporter
COVID-19 is impacting local businesses and by extension their employees. For some workers, this means different working conditions, while for others, it means they are out of a job. With high unemployment rates rocking the nation, many workers have found themselves unexpectedly without jobs.
One such individual is Gregory Matthews, a worker at the local restaurant Gravy. Like many others in the service industry, Matthews has been out of work.
The most profound effect of unemployment is the lack of income, which has affected Matthews’ outlook on certain things.
“It has been difficult being out of work because not having an income has affected the way I look at small things,” he said.
Another local worker is Andreas Lorentzen, who has worked for Camp Burton for a year and a half as a housekeeper, dishwasher, groundskeeper, and program director. Lorentzen has found his job extensively affected.
“My job has been drastically impacted for the first two and a half months” he said.
As practicing social distancing becomes more common for countless individuals, it becomes second nature.
“At first, social distancing took some getting used to, but now its been incorporated into my daily life so much that I hardly even realize it half the time.” he said.
However, not all businesses have been closed completely. Stores such as Thriftway have remained open during the COVID-19 crisis due to their essential nature.
For Michael Beytebiere, a Thriftway employee, not much has changed regarding how he conducts his job aside from a greater focus on cleaning due to Thriftway’s status as an essential business.
“My job is more or less the same. There’s more cleaning than before and new spots to work, but to me, it feels the same.” he said.
The practice of social distancing has made some aspects of work more difficult.
“It makes communicating more difficult with my co-workers and customers but it’s not that difficult.” Beytebiere said.
As things start to reopen, there’s a simple way to stay safe while spending time out of the house.
“Wear a mask,” Beytebiere said.