Some local managers at retail outlets like Target and grocery chains like Trader Joe’s and Vons are telling workers they cannot wear protective masks — and in some cases even gloves — at work.
The safety of grocery store workers has become increasingly important as the coronavirus pandemic has heightened the public’s reliance on supermarkets. While not a confirmed case of COVID-19, the recent death of a 49-year-old store clerk in Italy put a spotlight on the welfare of people working in grocery stores.
These workers include Sharon Cody, a deli worker at a Vons in Southern California. She loves her job, even though it has been crazy busy lately — almost three times what they normally do in business, she estimates.
Cody still loves coming in to work, but she’s worried about all of “her seniors” that are still buying groceries. She says she’s always getting on them to have someone come in and do their shopping while the pandemic is still going.
Cody has reason to be nervous for herself. She’s 68 years old and has chronic bronchitis. When she gets the flu, she says, it goes straight to her lungs.