Photo from https://www.dhs.gov/coronavirus/cybersecurity-and-critical-infrastructure


Photo from https://www.dhs.gov/coronavirus/cybersecurity-and-critical-infrastructure

Taylor Stephenson, Staff Writer

It’s almost amazing how quickly things change.

Just a couple months ago, I was “unskilled labor.” As a grocery store employee, I “didn’t deserve $12/hr,” because, “anyone could do (my) job.” Now, all of a sudden, I, along with hospital workers, pharmacists, and delivery drivers, am considered an “essential employee.” This means that despite the restrictions the CDC has recommended to help slow the spread of COVID-19, I still clock into work as I would if there wasn’t a pandemic happening. 

The alternative to this would be getting laid off, which is something that over 3.3 million people nationwide have had to deal with. According to the Portland Press Herald, almost 21,500 Maine residents filed for unemployment during the week of March 8 to March 14.

You would think that since every time I go to work I’m putting myself and my family at risk of contracting the modern equivalent of the pneumonic plague, people would at the very least try to be kind. You would be wrong. I’ve noticed that since this whole debacle started, people seem to be meaner than ever. I’ve been yelled at, had my intelligence insulted, and sworn at by customers for things as simple as the store being out of yeast (which is something I have absolutely no control over). I understand that this is an extremely stressful time for everyone, however it still hurts. I’m doing as much as I can to help, and I wish more people could see that.

If you take anything away from this column, I want it to be this: please be kind. Not just to service workers, but to everyone. We all have to deal with this pandemic, so why not make it a bit more tolerable by being good to each other?