I am an essential grocery store worker, and I have been working just about every day since the pandemic began. People must eat to survive and keep the economy going, so I must constantly work. This is how I conquered my fear of death and the Coronavirus—a miracle that saved my life by the grace of God, and brought me to a life of victory and courage.
Although Coronavirus has devastated the world and the United States, some truly miraculous stories have emerged from the pandemic—this is mine. I am a cashier at a grocery store. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, our sales volume and my work hours skyrocketed. As a senior citizen, I was sure the pandemic would kill me as I came in contact with hundreds of customers.
In the beginning, there were no masks or protection. It is a miracle that after all this time, I have not been infected with the Coronavirus, and my teammates and customers are experiencing the same miracle. Only one of my teammates got the Coronavirus, and he got it at home from his family. I don’t believe any customers got the virus at the store. We have experienced maximum exposure and risk, and yet miraculously, no one has been infected with the Coronavirus. Many institutions experience severe outbreaks when they open for business, and yet our store never closed, and we never had an episode or even a single store-related infection!
Grocery store workers are classified as essential workers during the pandemic. The U. S. Department of Homeland Security categorized the protection and continued operation of the food and agricultural industry and related transportation activities as “critical Infrastructure” under the COVID-19 emergence conditions.
In the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, the White House emphasizes that food industry sector workers should continue to work, and stated: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
Our store provided a letter so I could travel during the economic shutdown. The letter stated that I work in the supermarket industry and must travel to and from work, regardless of the time of day. It is essential to the nation’s food supply that I am permitted to travel to and from my job and be exempt from local restrictions such as shelter-in-place orders, when reporting to, returning from, or performing any of my work functions.
Courage and Taking Risks
I could have refused to work because of the obvious health risks. I decided to keep working, and I learned to overcome my fear of death during the Coronavirus Pandemic. When the pandemic hit, I came face to face with my fear of death, and I had some important decisions to make. I trust in Jesus Christ for my salvation, so it was logical that I would keep working.
As a senior citizen, I believe I should take the risks before my younger teammates, those with health issues or children, and those who are victims of discrimination. Moreover, I wanted to serve my customers. I was willing to die for a legacy and a testimony of serving my customers, the people I love. I was amazed that when I made this decision, I was free from my natural fear of death and willing to accept the consequences of my decision. Even today, I’m taking the same risks.
I am shocked at my teammates’ courage in facing the pandemic. They proceeded cautiously but without fear. Their continued commitment to safety guidelines is the best defense against COVID-19.
Vaccinating store employees and prevention remains the focus of our efforts. Our store issued the following guidelines to its employees:
Clean your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol can should be used between hand washings.
Wear a mask while at work and in public. Nose and mouth should always be covered.
Adhere to all social distancing instructions displayed in the store. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Frequently clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.
Stay at home as much as possible when not working.
Continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines and stay six feet from everyone.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
A miracle is a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is, therefore, considered to be the work of a divine agency. There is no scientific explanation for our store’s success while staying open for business during the pandemic. The store served its customers and community. By the grace of God, its teammates are given the miracle of good health while working in a hazardous environment.
Peter Gagliardi writes from Pennsylvania.
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