But still, they already want to take away the two dollars that they pay extra for working in crowded places

There is no day that Laura Orantes does not thank for her life and for being free of the coronavirus, since daily for eight hours, she faces the pandemic in her job as a cashier from a Rite-Aid pharmacy in Los Angeles.

“We are very exposed since we come into contact with many people. The virus is unforgiving, and even if you protect yourself, you are not exempt from getting sick. The danger is permanent, "he says.

As a pharmacy cashier, Laura is part of the group of essential workers who put themselves at risk for the country to march through orders to stay home.

Laura Orantes takes her precautions when arriving at her house, so as not to infect her family. (photo courtesy).

51 years old, she is originally from El Salvador, mother of two adult children and a grandson. She has been a Rite-Aid pharmacy cashier for 32 years.

At the beginning of the pandemic, she admits that they were very afraid, because they had never experienced a health crisis of this magnitude, and they did not know how to react.

Unfortunately – he says – many clients do not want to wear the masks. "They tell one of the things, they don't believe in the virus or they feel immune. We only need one to infect us"

Their employer put a plastic barrier on the boxes, but since they are not bolted on, they fall off every now and then.

“They did give us masks and gloves, and I spent washing my hands; but also asking God not to infect us. "

Although he does not suffer from any chronic disease, he is concerned that before the coronavirus, he frequently suffered from throat infections.

Laura Orantes worried about her family. (Courtesy)

Laura trusts that upon arriving at her house she carries out a routine to protect herself from COVID-19 and minimize the risk, I take off my shoes, I spray them with chlorine, I wash my clothes immediately and I bathe.

But she is impressed by how clients look for ways to evade the Stay at Home order. “There are people who come every day to buy a little thing. How is it possible? They can get infected themselves by coming to buy something that is not important. ”

In particular, he says he has noticed that Latinos are the least likely to stay home.

"It is very difficult. One goes to work imploring in the name of God not to get sick, and there are people who go to the pharmacy every day, and take all the relatives"

The worst happens when some customers want to engage in long conversations with ATMs, as if there is no health contingency. “They are talk and talk, ask and ask. They don't understand that they should minimize their time in the store and not touch everything. ”

On the other hand, Laura says that sales at pharmacies are doubled. "What was never sold before, is sold now",

But despite this increase, he regrets that many workers have had their work hours cut.

"Thanks to the fact that I am full-time and have been a cashier for so many years, they have not been cut."

However, it does not ring the bell.

The Two dollars an hour increase given since the coronavirus started, they could lose it at any time. "They no longer want to remove them," he laments.

Many people go to pharmacies almost daily, regardless of the epidemic. (Archive / La Opinion)

Some essential workers in hospitals, supermarkets and pharmacies such as Laura received in the US a bonus or a raise in wages to offset the risk of working in crowded workplaces during the pandemic.

TONow many companies want to eliminate it, even though the threat of COVID-19 has not gone away.

While fighting for a living wage commensurate with the risk of life she faces, this cashier pleads with consumers to "please stay home and respect the government's rules to protect yourself from COVID-19."

He says that they are the experts, and that "if we help each other, there may be less risk of contagion."


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