April 1, 2020
Article written by: Windy Garner
On the evening of Thursday March 19th Governor Newsom issued a Statewide order for citizens to stay home, minimize physical contact, and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While some jobs are functioning in a remote working state, other people have found themselves temporarily unemployed unless their job has been deemed essential. As for the Humans of Construction, many projects are moving forward and people have continued working based on individual choice. This order is bringing many to make the difficult decision of possible exposure vs keeping financially afloat. While some of America's blue collar workforce can live a comfortable life, the possibility of being out of work for an extended time has forced many to revisit their budgets only to realize there is little flexibility. Add to that employee loyalty, job security, and a sense of dedication, and we have many workers continuing to show up in order to maintain their livelihood.
What can be done to make safety top priority for our front line construction crews who are stepping up to the plate? All job sites have increased sanitation supplies, and initiated the 6 feet apart guideline, but many tradesmen are finding it impossible to complete required work while maintaining distance from their partners. The new normal is to wear masks and a face shield when in close contact with another person. The new normal is being extra conscious when arriving home to wash up before long awaited hugs from little ones. It means leaving possibly contaminated articles like boots outside and washing clothes daily. The new normal is feeling like the canary in a coal mine, but bravely moving forward to try to keep families from feeling despair.
As we speak, only time will tell if these steps are enough. Each day is uncertain and keeping productive while making safety a priority seems to be the answer for many of the Humans of Construction.