Since March 23rd 2020, the UK has officially been in lockdown.
Despite the risk of contracting Covid-19, thousands of key workers have been continuing to work to keep people safe and supplied with essentials.
This article is dedicated to the people who have been working through the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you all so much. You have woken up early and worked late, worn PPE, kept shelves stocked, looked after children while parents work, delivered mail, prepared and served food, cleaned, provided healthcare and much more.
Below is an interview with a key worker who has given up her time and energy during lockdown, despite the real risk of contracting the virus.
Interviewer (I): What is your name?
Megan (M): Megan Manghan
I: How old are you?
I: What work have you been doing during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown?
M: I’ve been working in a local shop.
I: How many hours per day and per week do you work?
M: Usually I work between 16-20 hours per week, during the pandemic I was doing shifts anywhere between 8 and 14 hours. Some weeks I’d work up to 54 hours.
I: Why have you been working?
M: Because i’m a key worker and the demand in the shop was insane.
I: If you could describe your experience working during the pandemic in 3 words what would they be?
M: Exhausting, upsetting and sometimes rewarding.
I: And why?
M: Exhausting, because the shifts were so long and deliveries were huge. Upsetting, because sometimes customers could be so rude, you’re trying your best to help people and make sure everyone has what they need and someone would still be unhappy. Rewarding, because some people were so grateful for what we were doing, home deliveries, ordering stock they specifically asked for etc.
I: What is one thing you wish people knew about working during lockdown?
M: How tiring and draining it is, how hard we tried to continuously keep the shop as stocked up as possible. Also going home to our families and loved ones after being completely exposed to germs and other people.
I: Do you feel appreciated for the work you’ve done?
M: No, not really. There was a lot more people picking faults and being rude than there was people saying thank you.
I: Do you think your work has been helping people? And why?
M: Yes, definitely. Because we offered home deliveries to people who were isolating and unable to leave the house. We did our best to ensure no one was going without their essentials.
I: What has been your favourite moment while working?
M: I think my favourite moment would probably be just being able to spend time around people.
I: What has been your least favourite?
M: A woman rang the shop and complained about me because she thought I was standing too close to her. We just got a delivery and I was putting away stock and didn’t notice she was behind me and I stepped back and knocked her by accident. That really upset me because by then I hadn’t had a day off in about 5 weeks, and I was really just doing my best.
I: Have you had much time to rest and take up a hobby over lockdown?
M: No, I’ve had no spare time at all. Any spare time I’ve spent catching up on sleep.
I: Do you feel like you have enough PPE at your workplace? And do you feel safe at work?
M: Yes, we have followed all guidelines and done exactly what we think is right. Washing our hands and sanitising as often as possible.
I: How has working during the pandemic affected you?
M: I’d say that working through it at the beginning was very stressful, as well as feeling a lot of anxiety about what to expect. I’d say that currently it’s affecting how frustrated and irritated I get. I find myself now getting very irritated by people not doing what they’re being advised to do, and will no longer be spoken down to by rude customers.
Megan is one of thousands of key workers who are keeping the UK (and the world really) going during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thanks to people like Megan we are able to shop, eat out and receive medical attention during this difficult time.
So thank you key workers, you are doing so much to keep things going and we are very grateful.