Aliyah Diaz de Leon
With the craziness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, parents all across the country tried to find ways to protect their kids and maintain a good work schedule. Parents who are essential workers such as medical staff, construction workers and logistics professionals still went to work while trying to protect themselves and their family members from the virus. But parents who were able to work from home found new daily routines to spend time with their kids, while balancing work.
Medical staff and other responders take precautionary measures to make sure they come home clean to their families.
“Yes, it is stressful being an essential worker. I try to be mindful at work with what I touch and who I interact with. When I come home, I immediately take a shower, change my clothes and sanitize my phone. While it is stressful, I am grateful to still be allowed to make a living,” radiologic technologist Russell Teran said.
Essential workers don’t like to see themselves as superheroes, but many of them are thankful to have a job that helps people in need.
“I feel grateful to still be getting a paycheck because there’s a lot of people out there struggling financially. When it comes to station life, not a lot has changed in the fact that I still get on the truck when the tones go off and do my best to help somebody in need,” firefighter Brad Bender said. “The main difference is the PPE [personal protective equipment] we wear on medical calls and the decontamination process after. When it comes to the term ‘essential employee’ none of us feel that we’re better or more important to society than anyone else, we all have our part to do to get through this pandemic.”
Many employees are adjusting to new changes in their positions at work, as well as finding the positives during this time.
“I had to put a lot of my other tasks on hold to help out with the clinic because half our staff is furloughed every week, so I am back to doing my Medical Assistant duties along with working longer hours. I am thankful for the job that I have and help those who are in need,” clinic supervisor Sarah Diaz de Leon said.
Many working parents have enjoyed working from home. Staying home means more family time and being comfortable in your own home.
“I do enjoy working from home. There is no longer a commute, I also get to be with my family and wear my comfy clothes. Although I do not have everything I need such as software and equipment. I miss talking to my coworkers and seeing kids’ faces everyday,” Barlow High School counseling secretary Kerry Smith said.
Parents working from home try to balance parenting young kids and making sure they are getting their own work done.
“I’m lucky to have grandmas that babysit, so it makes it a lot easier. I always take my breaks and lunch with my daughter so we can eat lunch or play a game together. As soon as I clock off, I’m able to focus on her instead of sitting in traffic,” Legacy Medical Group panel coordinator Heather Usher said.
Although working from home may sound nice, it isn’t for everyone, many miss physically being at work and seeing their coworkers.
“Working from home has actually increased my stress. I miss going to work but I like having the option to stay home if needed; however I don’t like being forced to full time,” Client Implementation manager Jennifer King said.