Coronavirus closure: Students still working part-time jobs

Before+going+into+work+at+Dunkin+Donuts%2C+Alli+Wank+checks+her+homework+in+Schoology.

Alli Wank

Before going into work at Dunkin Donuts, Alli Wank checks her homework in Schoology.

Kyra Horvat, Staff Writer

During the Coronavirus pandemic, stores and restaurants have had to reduce the hours of work for many employees, however some high school students are still working.

Junior Jarrell Glover is a stocker/cashier at Marc’s and has been working about four to five days a week since the pandemic started. He said, “I do possess fears of the virus, but I suppress them because I have faith in myself to protect and keep myself and my family safe while I work.”

Phillip Jimenez, a junior working as a utility clerk at Giant Eagle, has also been working during quarantine. He said, “We installed plexiglass in front of the registers and are sanitizing the carts all day. I don’t necessarily have any fears going to work; my only concern would be the potential to get my parents sick.”

As everyone has started staying inside more, some stores have become less busy. Jimenez said this hasn’t affected his routine much, “It’s the same as normal as long as I take my precautions. It’s been pretty slow but besides that it hasn’t been that much different.”

Sophomore Alli Wank started working at Dunkin Donuts as a Crew Member just before the pandemic and has continued working during this time. She said, “I’m with one or two people each shift and we are constantly washing our hands and keeping distances. We also clean everything very often throughout the shift and customers are also being very respectful with the space and new conditions.”

Brianna Mosley, a senior working at Pizza Roto, had been working since the start of the pandemic but just took her leave in order to take precaution. She said, “I did have fears because we had to interact with people so close. Yes, we had the bar between us where we put the toppings on the pizzas, but it was still really scary to be that close to [customers].”

Stores and restaurants have started taking protective measures by sanitizing a lot more often. Wank said, “We started wearing gloves the whole time we’re working and changing them often and we can’t have customers come in and eat anymore. We are cleaning everything a lot, like as soon as someone picks up their drink from the counter or something, one of us is probably wiping it down.”

To limit the chance of contact, stores have been putting in glass to shield cashiers from customers. Glover said, “They are enforcing us to wear gloves when working and have provided glass in front of the registers to prevent direct contact with customers while checking out.”

During the start of the pandemic, customers started stocking up on essentials before the official quarantine started. “At the start of the quarantine, for 2 weeks, the store was jam-packed and shelves were empty. People were climbing over each other trying to check out and it was horrific, something you would see out of a horror movie,” said Glover.

Mosley feels that working during this time is not necessary for her. “They kept me working and even increased my hours because they described me as a stronger and faster worker, but right now, though, I don’t think I need to be working as much as I am, if at all. There are plenty of workers right now who could be using this quieter time as training, but instead the hours keep getting cut for them.”