Life as an essential worker during the coronavirus pandemic

University of Dayton student works as an essential employee at his local Costco store, photo courtesy of Flickr.

Julia Bonfiglio
Contributing Writer

For many individuals, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unemployment and forced a large number of employees to work from home.

However, not everyone has been forced to leave or make drastic changes to their work.

There are many individuals who are considered “essential workers.” These civilians continue to go to their jobs and serve society despite the potential risk.

One of those essential workers is a University of Dayton student, Jake Swavey. 

Swavey is a sophomore at UD and is currently working at his local Costco store.

Swavey has worked at Costco for about a year and has not considered quitting due to the virus.

According to Swavey, Costco has created new rules intended to keep customers and employees safe.

“They are doing a lot to enforce social distancing with controlling checkout lines and how many people come into the store,” Swavey said.

Swavey decided he would take two weeks off of work because his mom has asthma and bronchitis.

As a result, she is considered a higher-risk individual in terms of catching and feeling the effects of the coronavirus.

Costco gives its employees four weeks unpaid so if a worker or their loved one is at risk they can take up to a month off.

In terms of ways to stay safe and keep others safe when shopping at Costco, Swavey recommends not coming in unless a customer or their loved one needs something.

If a customer must come in, Swavey suggests that they wear masks and listen to Costco employees as they direct lines and try to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Swavey does his best to remain healthy and feels protected at work. 

“I have never really felt unsafe,” he said. “They do a lot and I wash my hands. I am more conscious of how I interact with people.” 

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