Students adjust to working during COVID-19 shutdown


Jewel Jurek-Stamm, Staff Reporter

It is extremely common for students to have after-school jobs.  They can save for a car, college, etc. Unfortunately, for many, working through the ongoing pandemic is quite different, and can be incredibly tough.

There are many safety protocols that must now be followed. Masks must always be worn, many stores and restaurants (among other establishments like nail salons) have plexiglass between customers and employees, and many employees have been instructed to increase their cleaning procedures. Due to the recent three-week lockdown currently in place, some students may not even be able to continue working, or have jobs put on hold.

One such student experiencing extra cleaning protocols is senior Miranda Bolinger, who is a cashier at Pet Supplies Plus and is working through the shutdown.

“We have a checklist that consists of wiping the card readers, doors and handles, carts etc. We do this every hour so we can stay as clean and safe as possible,” Bolinger said.

Amidst the shutdown, places like restaurants are not able to operate normally. They are not allowed to accept dine-in customers, only carry outs.

I work at Apple Annie’s on Gratiot and just like all other restaurants in Michigan we are currently not able to allow dine-in customers. Therefore, we do not need as many staff members on the floor at any given time so many of us are not currently working, and that includes me.

The main difference is the cleaning procedures. We have taken many steps to ensure a safe visit for all guests. We have ensured that all menus, pens, and tables are bleached rather than just sanitized in-between each use, we are washing our hands more than ever before, and, of course, always have our masks.

These things make our jobs harder for many reasons. The bleach and handwashing dry out our hands and that can be quite painful, especially now as the air is much drier than in the summer, and the masks can be quite bothersome after a long shift near a hot soup well and constantly moving around the restaurant.

All in all, this is a very hard time for us all and we must do what we have to do, support each other however we can, and get through this together.

With that being said, stay safe Panthers.