Some people in the West Valley continue to work even as stay-at-home and business closure orders have been imposed in a patchwork across the state.
Although Gov. Doug Ducey has urged Arizonans to stay home in response to the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, there are some with jobs deemed “essential,” including grocery store clerks, delivery drivers and warehouse workers.
They are working so communities have access to food and supplies.
Many essential workers say they do not mind going to work because the jobs help to support their families.
For UPS driver Isaiah Gallegos, a resident of Avondale, being able to pay his bills is not the only thing he worries about.
“I do worry, especially when I come home and hug the kids and kiss my wife,” Gallegos said. “I’m wondering what I’m bringing home to them.”
Like other essential businesses, UPS has taken measures to ensure the safety of its employees as well as the recipients of its deliveries, Gallegos said.
There is less customer interaction and more sanitization of its postal hubs and delivery trucks.
For some, returning to work is a risk each day. Leilani Campas, a bakery assistant manager at a Fry’s Food Store in Peoria, said she is grateful to still have a job and is glad she can feed the store’s customers. Campas said the store takes many preventative measures to keep its workers healthy, but going to work under such circumstances still scares her.
“It’s not really a matter of if I’m gonna get it, it’s just when,” Campas said, referring to the coronavirus.
Campas said her store has tripled its sales in recent weeks and she often has to calm customers down if they are panicking. “It looks like the end of the world every day at work,” she said.
In response to the unusual conditions, Fry’s paid its employees a $300 “appreciation bonus” as well as a “hero compensation” of a $2 hourly wage increase, according to Campas.