It's extremely hard to just stay hydrated.


It's been hard to stay healthy at work with... Not like with COVID-19, I can stay healthy with that. 

We use chemicals and gloves and washing our hands and masks. But with the chemicals, I've gotten rashes on my neck, I've... My face and neck swelled up from a reaction to all the bleach. I've just had... It's a lot when you breathe in so many chemicals for 12-hour shifts, it can really irritate your lungs and kind of just like... Your throat hurts, like talking at the end of the day... It's even from talking, really. I think it's from all the chemicals, it's just rough and sore and it hurts to talk and your lungs kind of burn...

painting of grocery store workers and carts
Painting by Carolyn Olson

I think it's a lot harder just to drink water. So we're not allowed to take our masks off around the public, so we literally have to go all the way up into the office or back outside to drink water, which doesn't seem like a big deal until you're in a restaurant. If you've been a restaurant worker, you know that you don't have time to just disappear for five minutes to drink water, but when that's the only way to do it, you become pretty severely dehydrated throughout your shift, so that's been a big issue is... And that's not just me, that's I think every single worker, whether it's their eight hour shift or four hour shift is something they brought up is that it's extremely hard to just stay hydrated and drink water right now, so that's been hard to do. 

— A Food Service Worker




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Stories of Wisdom from Bodies in Separation (SWaBS): Archiving the Coronavirus Pandemic Through the Lens of Humanities has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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