NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Scared, anxious, worried, and stressed. Those are some of the words grocery store workers are using.
They fear catching the coronavirus each day when they go to work. Some customers say they’re also on edge these days, CBS2’s Nina Kapur reports.
Gregg Finch has worked at a Stop & Shop in Queens for 15 years. Now, the first time in his career, he’s part of a select group of essential employees, working through a global pandemic.
“Coming into work, you have the feeling of concern. Sometimes you’re a little bit anxious. Sometimes you’re borderline afraid,” Finch said.
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The industry has been hard hit by coronavirus. Demand is so high, supply often can’t keep up, and due to exposure, many employees have fallen ill.
On the other hand, shoppers also worry. Even though customers can limit their time spent in stores, some told Kapur they experience similar feelings of stress and anxiety.
Manhattan resident Melissa Heller goes to the grocery store once a week. She said she limits her visits because she often sees fellow shoppers ignoring protective measures, like covering the face and social distancing.
“For the people that are adhering to the rules, it’s not fair to us. We go out only for the essentials, and we’re protecting ourselves,” Heller said. “Nobody is invincible to this.”
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East Village resident Ted Zelley feels a little differently.
“I only go to Trader Joe’s, and they’ve been doing a great job. So I can’t speak for other grocery stores, but I haven’t felt anxious or scared yet,” Zelley said.
Zelley also limits his trips to the store, and even picks essentials up for his roommates to limit exposure.
Finch said sending one member of the household to shop is crucial. He also urges customers to continue using protective gear, and dispose of it properly, too.
“Make sure to throw them in the garbage and not throw them on the floor. Or if they’re done with their gloves… throw them in the garbage where they belong,” Finch said.
These small steps are part of a larger effort to keep everyone, especially those on the frontlines, safe.