There are many people we should thank for being true heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one profession that is often overlooked are the nation’s truck drivers. They risk their lives every single day to deliver medical supplies, dried goods, food and beverages and other vital supplies that are needed during this crisis. Like almost everyone else, every day activities are also very different for them.
Nate McCarty, a freight driver from Denver said in regards to the pandemic, “it’s made me a lot more aware of places that I go on my trip and everything that I’m touching.” He also explained “but it’s gotten a lot more difficult trying to find places to eat because a lot of places are carryout only.”
Kevin Steichen, a livestock hauler, is having a similar experience. He says, “I’m sitting at a truck stop right now that typically has pretty good food. You really can’t go inside and enjoy yourself. You just sit in the truck…” Steichen went on to say, “I was in Nevada the other day, on my way to California, and I stopped at a truck stop. Typically, it’s a really clean truck stop. I walked in there, and I got my fuel receipt. I went to use the bathroom, and one of my buddies came walking out of the bathroom. He looked at me, and he said some choice words. I’m like, ‘Well, I got to go to the bathroom, so I’m going to go in there.’ I walked in, and it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Paper towels everywhere. Garbage overflowing. The stalls … Just out of curiosity, I kicked a couple stall doors open. Just disgusting.”
While business for many trucking companies are better, working conditions have declined immensely due to COVID-19. Although truck stop restrooms might either be closed or a mess, there are some positive stories regarding working conditions for truck drivers. According to Ingrid Brown, a produce hauler, “during my whole 40 years of trucking, I have never had better service and better times than during the last two-and-a-half weeks.” She also said, “shippers and receivers have been so easy to get a hold of. I keep thinking ‘Oh, it’s all in my head. I’m just imagining that it was that bad and now it’s this good.’ You used to try to get a hold of a shipping or a receiving clerk, manager or an assistant or whoever runs the department, and it was impossible.”
It may seem as if the world is falling down around us but there are several professions and people out there who are true heroes right now. Thank you to all of the essential workers and individuals who are working every single day to keep the rest of us afloat.