High school is hard enough on its own, but add working in the middle of a pandemic, and you’ve got a whole new world of responsibilities.
In workplaces everywhere, new safety precautions have been set for employers and employees alike. Not only are masks to be worn, but workers must know how to properly wash their hands and sanitize their stations after every use.
Junior Isabelle Grisel is one of many teens taking on the pressure of juggling her GPA and her job, all while trying to stay healthy. She works at Texoma ENT and Allergy Clinic, taking temperatures and asking patients a series of screening questions for COVID prevention.
“Working on the front lines has really put into perspective the complexity of the pandemic,” Grisel said. “In the sense of how many people are forced to choose between staying safe at home or getting essential care from their doctor.”
Not only is Grisel’s position important, but it’s also risky. Being the first line of defense against the spread of COVID to the rest of the clinic is beyond essential.
Several students also take risks working at non-essential jobs that are still important. From volunteering in pet shelters to distributing food to the needy, no job is insignificant.
Junior Megan Smith got a job at United Market Street as a sacker prior to the COVID shutdown in early March.
“I work with the public and not everybody who comes in to shop has gone through the whole, ‘Have you had a fever, cough, chills,’” Smith said. “Some don’t even wear a mask, so I do take the risk, but I try to stay as vigilant as I can.”
Junior Sydney Haston works at Frank & Joe’s, where business had been slow during the spring and early summer months. However, since the governor allowed businesses to utilize their dine-in seating areas, traffic resumed to pre-pandemic normalcy.
“The in-house dining has gotten a lot more busy now that everyone’s out and about,” said Sydney Haston. “I definitely think the customers are happier with the restrictions being lifted and being able to see people again.”