Nationwide Pandemic Takeover Affecting Necessity Jobs and Lifestyles

Nationwide Pandemic Takeover Affecting Necessity Jobs and Lifestyles

Our world is now at war with a national pandemic that has struck the world. The COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus has not been just a national issue, this has become a worldwide pandemic that has affected everyone. 

This pandemic has affected those in the frontline workforce including Huntington Beach, Albertsons employee, Ben Walker who has noticed a significant increase in the number of customers coming into Albertsons causing them to hire more people just to keep up. 

Ben Walker in Albertsons uniform with required face mask.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the novel coronavirus is an upper respiratory tract illness. It is a new illness caused by an outbreak first discovered in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The virus COVID-19, can be transmitted through human contact, infected surfaces and water droplets after a sneeze or cough. 

The IDPH says that the outbreak has been linked to the large seafood and live animal market causing an animal-to person spread. 

By March 1, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency. On March 12, 2020, 1,645 people from 47 states had been infected with the coronavirus.

This has caused the majority of the United States to have some restrictions when in public. According to the New York Times Article, 47 of the 52 states have influenced a stay at home order including Illinois. One of the few places the public is opened to go for essentials is the grocery stores. 

Throughout this pandemic, social media has been playing a huge role in discussion. Many pictures have circulated of empty grocery shelves. This pandemic has caused a panic to the nation, causing them to prepare for the worst. This has caused restrictions on certain items such as toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, dry goods and water. This has controlled people from overbuying or hoarding items.

Restricted to buying a certain number of items was not the only change grocery stores had encountered.   

“We now have two doors, one being an entrance and one being an exit and we sanitize every check stand after a customer comes through and we sanitize every touch point in the store,” Walker said.

The grocery store Albertsons in Huntington Beach is going through the same changes that we are seeing nationwide. In fact Chicago’s own Jewel-Oscos are part of the same corporation as Albertsons in California.

 

Photos of adjustments made for the pandemic at the Albertsons in Huntington Beach location. | Photos taken by Cory Moore.

These protocols of having protective glass in front of cashiers and the sanitizing is making things much more safe. It is now a requirement for employees to wear a mask while working as well. 

The grocery store regulations and policies of these stores have changed to create a more safe environment to get the everyday essentials. Here is a map using  Google My Maps of the participating Jewel-Osco stores.

The changes we are seeing is almost a must with the numbers we are seeing affected by this pandemic. According to Worldometer, As of April 28, 2020 there have been 1,035,765 confirmed cases and 59,266 deaths in just the United States. Out of the confirmed cases 142,238 have recovered.

Even though it may seem a lot safer to shop with the necessary changes implemented by Albersons and Jewel-Osco, some shoppers are frustrated with the new safety policys and number of supplies they are allowed to purchase. 

Christian Catano is an avid shopper at the Albertsons in Huntington Beach, California where he and his family go weekly for groceries. Catano states “I have noticed the store’s changes like all the employees wearing gloves and masks most of the time and a glass screen in front of the cashier”.

Photo of Christian Catano

Although Catano recognizes the efforts being made and follows every protocol including the 6ft rule and wearing a mask. Catano adds “ I feel pretty uncertain about it. You don’t know who is carrying it or if one of the employees has it.”

In addition to the changes of the grocery stores around us there has been a limitation to the available products for people to purchase. Both Walker and Catano agreed that there is a major shortage of toilet paper in all stores. 

Walker said that at the start of the pandemic, people were hoarding items, but as time went on, he noticed a decrease in overbuying.

As seen on the front lines of the grocery stores, Hospitals around the world are also facing shortages of supplies. It has also been noticed that protocols are becoming more strict not only in grocery stores but also hospitals. 

Amanda Keith is Licensed Vocational Nurse in Redlands California at Beaver Medical Clinic. She has seen everything first hand as this pandemic has continued over the past several months. 

Keith went into detail on how she went from wearing a normal surgical mask before everything hit. She states now her attire has changed to a n95 mask, isolation gowns and a face shield on top of that.

When asked about the shortages of supplies she states “Yes, definitely! There is a shortage of n95 masks and I am forced to wear the same one all day long. Once the shift is over my supervisor takes them over to the hospital to be sanitized. This process happens up to 10 times.”

This is scary though, knowing even the hospitals are struggling to maintain a full stock of supplies.

The important part in an individual standpoint is to follow the guidelines that the CDC gives us with social distancing. One must remain 6ft apart, avoid large group gatherings, and do not gather in groups. This can all be seen in the chart using Venngage below, along with several other tips. 

With this being said it is very important to understand if you are showing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 to report them to your doctor right away. There are many ways to show signs of this virus. Below you will see a chart showing the most common symptoms of the reported confirmed cases.

Here is a bar graph chart created using Flourish to representing the most common systems.

Flourish bar graph showing symptoms related to VOID-19

The CDC gives a step by step formula to get the proper help and get you moving in the right direction to getting better on their website. 

As things are changing in the public from grocery stores, hospitals, and individual lives, it is important to follow all protocols in the prevention of COVID-19.

Just like Ben Walker says about stocking shelves in a grocery store “it’s not hard but it takes a lot of time because we have to do it every night.” We all have to do our part in doing the little things every day such as washing your hands, keeping your distance,and staying home as much as possible.

Do you believe the United States is handling the supply restrictions in grocery stores well? How do you think the hospital supply shortages will affect patients moving forward? Leave a comment below. 

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