Which Jobs Are Essential?

I discussed the issue of teachers being forced to go back to school with the AP Calculus teacher, Jessica Osborne, at my high school and she said without a doubt, “all students and staff should be required to return to school.” She explained that it is almost impossible to teach AP Calculus through a screen. Osborne describes herself, and other teachers, essential workers and students as essential learners. However, my mom, a third grade reading teacher, felt the exact opposite. She was worried she was going to get Covid 19, and was angry that she was forced to go back to school and come in contact with over 50 students a day. These two convenient interviews I conducted prove that this a very controversial issue and there is not a right answer. Be that as it may, for the purpose of the assignment, I will have to side with Osborne. I do think that students have lost a year not going to school/doing it online. 

Throughout the entire pandemic, I was working full time at a fast food chain and I was paid a continuous $10, while a friend of mine was given $1.50 added to his hourly wage at the fast food chain he was working at. He claims he was given the bonus during the pandemic because he was willing to work through it, but so was I and I never received a bonus of any kind except for more hours! I am sure others have experienced both a bonus and receiving nothing in return for working during the pandemic. Honestly, I do not think it should be up to the company, I wish the government would have stepped in and helped everyone get a bonus that they well deserved. 

I am not sure who decided which jobs were essential and I am not sure how they determine that because I think all are essential except one that comes to my mind. Why do fast food employees qualify as essential workers? I understand that these people need to make money, but I cannot imagine that extra things being open contributed to the push to discontinue the pandemic. In regards to whom the essential workers should be, I think the nurses and doctors are definitely at the top. America relies on the medical system to be there for its citizens, so I don’t think we could do anything without them. Sanitation and food packaging companies are essential. However, restaurants and fast food are extra things that I do not think needed to be open during the “quarantine” part of this year. According to Megan Cerullo, a writer for CBC News, “Public health experts believe the novel coronavirus, which causes the potentially deadly COVID-19 disease, is transmittable through ‘fomites’ — surfaces, including paper money”(Can you catch the coronavirus from handling cash?, par. 2). When people are going through the drive thru, they are constantly handing me cash and who knows where it has been? Also, fast food places do not sanitize money, so after handling it and touching other money, they give it right back out to the public with the potential of having Covid 19 germs on it. 

I only covered two of thousands of jobs in America. Again, the issue of who should and who shouldn’t be required to put their life on the line is extremely controversial, and there just is not a right answer. It might just come down to who is comfortable with it, because it is a right we have as citizens and the government has to respect that. 

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