A new working class continues to emerge in the pandemic outbreak of the 21st century. The economically disadvantaged are now at the forefront to protect the affluent. In the US, the grocery workers and the delivery folks are at the front helming the lives of the ones wholly quarantined.
As the crisis deepens further, the class disparity becomes an intractable issue for the economic pillar of the nations. We can see that a particular class has more chances of getting infected than others. The low wagers are still manning the shelf and clearing our garbages, and the rest are ousted from their employment sectors. Providing protection and making possible the smooth running of Essential services are those who are usually neglected in the income strata.
For instance, grocery-store clerks face some of the most dangerous exposure to the coronavirus, aside from health-care workers. “Essential” businesses—grocery stores, pharmacies—are about the only places Americans are still permitted to go, and their cashiers stand less than an arm’s length from hundreds of people a day.
The employers are providing zero protection to the ones who are relentlessly battling the invisible evils. Resounding appeals to the governments have gone unnoticed. They are forced to put their lives on stake for their livelihood even though they are aware that they might very well be the next victim. The question that arises here is, do they deserve the current treatment meted out to them?
These people are putting their lives at risk to continue their livelihood, but what livelihood that may entail when they have no insurance to their health? Stuck in a never-ending maze of survival, these working class is a victim of the governments’ and society’s loophole of a federal system.
Gallup found that 71 percent of people making more than $180,000 can work from home during the pandemic, compared with just 41 percent of those making less than $24,000. According to a recent analysis by The New York Times, the well-off are staying home the most, especially during the workweek, and they also began practicing social distancing earlier than low-income workers did.
“Self-isolation is an economic luxury,” says Justin Gest, a public-policy professor at George Mason University and the author of The New Minority. For those working-class people who do still have jobs, “it probably requires a physical presence somewhere that exposes them to the virus.”