"Essential" Workers Keep American Life Going During Coronavirus Pandemic
OXNARD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Juana Gonzalez, 28, has been an agricultural laborer for 10 years. She worries about Covid-19 Coronavirus, especially working so close to other workers all day long without protection. Sometimes I am nervous, you dont know if you are in contact with someone sick, at the same time youre stressed out because the kids are out of school. Actually, we are grateful to be working, a lot of people dont have jobs now. A few weeks ago we were not so busy but now we work 9 hour days. America needs food. Agricultural workers from Bud Farms harvest and pack Celery and other crops for both American and export consumption. At this time of Covid-19 Coronavirus, many of those working in agriculture have become essential workers, helping to ensure Americas food supply does not dry up as so many other business close down to weather the pandemic. These agricultural workers are mostly migrant Spanish-speakers. They earn just above minimum wage and in a good 6 day week working 10 hours a day, they can earn around $1100. At the same time, they have no masks, no gloves and no sense of social distancing or testing to prevent spreading the virus amongst each other if one of the workers contracts the disease. As with many forms of employment now, people are desperate to keep earning and with that, will accept more risks in order to feed their families. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
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