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This virus transforms the normal into the nightmarish. Grocery stores, once symbols of mundanity, now evoke fear. And that fear is especially real for the essential workers running them: At least 41 have already died of COVID-19.
Today’s newsletter is a two-parter. First, we’ll hear from workers themselves. Then, we’ll cover some basic food-shopping tips that you can implement to help protect them—and yourself.
What it’s like to work at a grocery store right now
“I won’t get paid if I don’t work, so I have to work. I have to put my health at risk every day out of necessity.”
— Billy Yulfo (pictured above), an assistant manager at Zabar’s, a gourmet grocery store in New York City, and the subject of this short documentary
“I fear that many of my co-workers are so high on recognition and glorification, they can’t see the real danger they’re in.”
— Karleigh Frisbie Brogan, who works at a Trader Joe’s in Portland, in her Atlantic piece, “Calling Me a Hero Only Makes You Feel Better”
How to grocery shop during an outbreak