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I work at Walmart, it never once crossed my mind that I was working at a place that would be essential in these situation, it makes sense of course because we are essential but it really sucks. The more I think about it the more I wonder why they don't re-arrange schedules so the store can be stocked at night and keep minimal staff during the day or cut non-essential personnel.
We can choose to self isolate if we want to but we won't get paid. If we get sick or need to quarantine we will be paid but there's some confusion about whether we will use our sick time for that or not. Almost non of us full time people qualify for any of the government assistance which means that we have to work like normal, even though it feels completely abnormal and the stress levels in the store are palpable. I've had a stress headache for a week straight.
My mother would be extremely high risk if she got this, I'm her main caregiver. I have to avoid her while trying to make sure she has everything she needs to get through this when she literally can't leave her house and I can't go into hers. The people that bring their kids with them and wander the store aimlessly shopping for pillows and bbq's are putting our lives at risk and they don't seem to register this at all. It's a tense environment to be in, we still have to try to be nice to our customers but it's getting hard, especially when they are rude and ungrateful.
The plain and simple fact is that if one employee gets sick we are going to fall like domino's. Cleaning the store like they did in Midland certainly minimizes risk of further transmission but it won't stop the transmissions that happen in the week it takes for someone to feel sick. The case in Midland has been internally confirmed as a presumed case awaiting test results as well as another employee at the main warehouse.
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