Cashiers, pharmacists, logistics employees, and many more jobs are considered as essential workers as to how they keep the economy and society alive despite the impending danger of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as the time goes by, businesses are becoming more persistent in making these workers report to their jobs despite having the crisis looking at their face. Workers are then starting to think that they’re not viewed as essential workers anymore, but more as disposable personnel.
In the current case of our society, they’re only right to feel this way because most of the time, businesses don’t even bother following standard safety protocol, nor providing safety equipment to prevent anyone from being infected.
There are some cases where retailers allowed shoppers to enter the vicinity of their establishments without thinking about the opinions of their employees. Of course, there’s a polarizing opinion about wearing masks, but when it comes to protection, safety equipment and protocol should always be observed.
Much of this “disposable” feeling also comes from the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a new mandate stating that the isolation period for COVID-19 patients is shortened to only five days. It’s half of what’s supposed to be 10 days full of rest, which a lot of workers, especially those in the frontline see as a danger to their health.
President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci stated that the mandate’s goal is to provide balance to health and economy. The CDC had also made some recent changes before this big statement when it comes to health care workers that tested positive for COVID-19. According to them, healthcare workers are allowed to go back to work after only 7 days of isolation, which can also be hastened in case there are shortages in manpower. However, this would only happen if the healthcare worker in question has tested negative.
According to research, there are some cases of COVID-19 patients that are still infectious even if they have completed 5 days of isolation. That means that allowing people to go outside or to even work on the frontline would increase the chances of the pandemic’s spread.
Our general knowledge and consensus about the COVID-19 virus is still developing as scientists and research are discovering new things about it often. Thus, we should expect to see changes often as well. The CDC also makes changes according to these findings, and as to what they think would benefit the nation. In that case, the public outcry and polarizing reactions from everyone is wholly understandable.
Essential businesses can also be the reason why we’re seeing these changes as for instance, Delta Airlines have written an open letter to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC’s director, urging them to have the isolation duration be cut short. This is after the cancellation of over 1,000 flights to make sure that the airline staff can handle the workload. Of course, businesses would hate to have this happening repeatedly, that’s why Delta Airlines are doing their best to get more manpower back even if it means that they have to make changes on the isolation period.
The thing is, Delta Airlines aren’t the only ones pleading for some changes as other businesses have also voiced out their opinion regarding this matter. So in return, the CDC came up with the mandate, ensuring that they will satisfy the needs of the business sector.
While the business industry’s wishes have been granted, the workforce’s opinion has become bitterer, with others like the New York State Nurses issuing a statement that this policy change would only make the matters worse. Other people in the workforce are also worried about their employers’ brute forcing their way to acquire more manpower, saying that it is possible for them to make their employees work even if they still have COVID-19 symptoms.
The CDC’s mandate is definitely not perfect as it left a lot of holes, especially in some parts of the workforce. While it might be beneficial for the economy and businesses, workers have felt more disposable than they were before.