By WMM Guest Contributor: Sara Mason-Bennett
I work in the service industry, for a very large global company, and I was given the choice to take 30 days off (paid) or to continue working (in a modified and extremely impacted way due to lots of new and different regulations in place). I did not take this decision lightly, but ultimately chose to continue working.
A lot went into my decision to continue to face the general public on a daily basis. First and foremost I am feeling healthy, both physically and mentally. And many safety precautions are in place, so I feel appropriately protected at work as well.
I also did it for my mental health. It’s an uncertain time, I need to routine of going into work like normal and I need to feel like I am contributing in a way I can to the greater good.
I also did it for my mental health. It’s an uncertain time, I need to routine of going into work like normal and I need to feel like I am contributing in a way I can to the greater good. My place of business serves many retail workers, healthcare professionals, childcare workers and truck drivers. It’s part of many people’s daily routines, who are still working outside of their home, almost all of them in stressful conditions, and they need that sense of normalcy, just like I do. I also spent 5 weeks on bed rest in 2018, it was really tough on my mental health. I honestly believe that a quarantine situation would have the same impact, and I am concerned that it could put myself or my family at risk just as much as the virus potentially would.
I also continue to work out of necessity.
I also continue to work out of necessity. I am healthy. Though I was offered 30 days the future of the disease, the economy, the world is so uncertain. I am the main provider for my family, and now with my husband laid off completely from his job in the restaurant industry, we are solely dependent on my income. This was a decision I made to do what is best for my family right now.
Working with the general public right now can be a challenge. There are definitely people out that should not be for their health. There are definitely people out who are not following the social distancing guidelines in place. But there are people who are out working hard to care for people and to keep us safe, to keep our store shelves stocked, and to keep the world as we know it running.
So at 4:30am every morning when my alarm goes off, as long as I am well, I will continue to get up and go to work. For my family. For my community. For myself. And when my workday is done, I will go home, wash my hands, and cuddle with my kids and keep them safe. We are all making the choice to do what’s best at this time, and no matter the circumstances, we are all in this together.