US workers faced harrowing year on pandemic front lines


One year ago, workers across the United States learned they’d been divided into two categories: those who would work from home, and those who would have to keep showing up to workplaces where they risked exposure to Covid-19.

Matt Valentin was among the latter, and in the months that followed, the Starbucks cafe where he worked in Monroe, Michigan became an increasingly anxiety-ridden environment.”

From my perspective, it went from ‘get these drinks and orders done as fast as possible’ to ‘do all of that, and try not to bring a deadly virus home to your vulnerable family,’” the 21-year-old said in an interview.

As Americans mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic that transformed how business is done in the world’s largest economy, those whose jobs required them to show up to work as the virus raged told AFP of a year of fear and uncertainty.—AFP