In the category of “essential personnel,” we often hear about healthcare workers, but those work in out nation’s grocery stores are also indispensable. In a move that every other state in our country should take to heart, Minnesota and Vermont have chosen to officially recognize grocery clerks as essential emergency workers. Mother Jones reports:
This means the workers hurrying to stock shelves and check out customers in those states will also receive free child care…the directive from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz came as part of an order for “Care for Children of Families of Emergency Workers,” which instructs closed schools to continue to provide care for children of emergency personnel who are “critical to the response of COVID-19.” Under the order, grocery workers are considered “essential tier 2 workers.” “Districts should make every effort to provide care for school-age children” of these workers, the order states. (People caring for the children of emergency personnel are also considered emergency personnel.)
Free child care for workers who can’t stay home is a must, and it’s a big step from Gov. Walz and Vermont’s Michael Schilring, the public safety commissioner. It’s impossible for these workers to avoid human contact, meaning they’re at incredibly high risk, but it’s also impossible for them to stay home. Anything that can be done to lighten their burden as the coronvirus continues to spread is something that’s not just beneficial, but imperative.