The workers deemed essential in battling the pandemic are the same workers that three months ago were barely noticed.
The staff cleaning and sanitizing the hospital rooms, the farm workers picking produce and packing the meat, the clerks stocking the shelves, the folks delivering the mail packages or supplies ordered online. Their work was taken for granted, barely seen as fellow human beings by most consumers and customers.
The video below is courtesy of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance featuring one such worker, a Filipina American, Angel Sherburne, an EVS tech at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
Angel is an EVS technician who keeps patients safe by disinfecting hospital rooms. Her work is critical to stop the spread of infection. but the hospital is not providing sufficient PPE. Without protection for workers, both patients and workers suffer.
If there is one good thing to come out of this medical crisis, it is the newfound respect for these workers and a reevaluation of their importance and how “essential” they are to our society.
At the very least, raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and provide healthcare for all. Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare workers would be nice, too.
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