‘I’m their resource’: Bowling Green essential staff reflect on working during the pandemic

Gabrielle Bunton

Places have shut down, but many businesses are still in the front line of the pandemic. Fast food joints, pharmacies, grocery stores and others have still remained open to the public but have followed the mandate to social distance. 

Hannah Thomas Turner works at UPS Worldport and has been through many shortcomings since the pandemic. 

“There have been fewer work hours,” Turner said. “They have decided to ‘clean’ common areas for about 20 to 30 minutes if they can make time for it.” 

Bowling Green native Stephon Massey works at the Bowling Green Medical Center. He says that his days have somewhat changed and the stress levels have increased at work sometimes due to limited resources, but he keeps an open mind.

“I’m fully confident that my work place and myself are prepared for what’s here now and anything that’s coming in the future,” Massey said.

Even some workers have taken it upon themselves to do the extra safety measures. Teresa Beason, who works at Assured Link Case Management said, “I’m overly cautious now. I make sure to sanitize all the time to make sure me nor my clients will get sick.” 

People have taken the time to reflect on the decisions of corporations and the choices they have made regarding their workers during this time. 

“It’s taught me that corporations do not care about their essential workers that keep their businesses running,” Turner said.

Massey feels that working during the pandemic is worth the risk. 

“When I took this job, it’s like I took an oath to help people and put them before myself,” Massey said. “I’m their resource.”

Many people have expressed the need to close corporations down so people can self quarantine, but what about those who have no choice but to work? There are many people in America who have families, bills, medical needs, disabilities and so on. Some people don’t have the option to not work. 

“It will negatively affect people who have to work because this is how people survive,” Turner said. “Some can’t even miss one day of work. In theory, it’s a good plan to slow the progression of the virus, but in my opinion it will cause more harm than good.”  

“It could help decrease the patient population to care for but at the same time hinder our availability to needed resources due to us being at work,” Massey said.

Reporter Gabrielle Bunton can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected].