Community Profile: Essential Worker

Community Profile: An Essential Worker
Posted on 04/28/2020
Essential WorkerBeing an Essential Worker During a Pandemic
Nyla Anderson
Staff Writer

Since the COVID-19 breakout, schools and stores closed down to prevent spreading it. However, essential workers, such as restaurant workers, nurses, and bus drivers still must risk their health each day to do their jobs. Travia Anderson, an employee for Proctor and Gamble, is considered an essential worker and is at risk of getting COVID-19.

Anderson works for Proctor and Gamble and her job is to lead the warehousing and shipping of products throughout the northeast region of the U.S., which holds 65 million consumers. The products they make are toiletries, such as toilet paper, deodorant, and toothpaste, and they also sell cleaning products like microban, Mr. Clean, and 409.

“One of the misconceptions that exist is that the [workers] want to be there,” Anderson said. “There are a lot of people out of work that want to work, and there’s a lot of people at work that, quite frankly, are fearful and don’t want to work.”

Because they still have to practice social distancing, the work environment has changed for the employees. Scheduling times have changed so not too many people are in the building and all meetings are phone calls. To enter the building, all employees must answer questions about symptoms or contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19 and take temperature checks. If somebody were to go out for lunch, they would still have to repeat the process to reenter.

“We have to wear masks, itchy masks, all day, every day while we’re on site,” Anderson said. “We have to sanitize our areas every 2-3 hours.”

For team meetings, people use microphones from karaoke machines to communicate throughout the site. Handles on doors have been removed and were replaced with a handle-like lever at the bottom of the door to pull with feet.

“There is definitely an element of fear within my site from several the people that work there, and so part of my job right now is to help manage that fear by making sure people understand all the safety precautions that we’re going through to protect their personal health,” Anderson said.

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