Essential Work

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been a collective experience, many experienced the year 2020 very differently. For some it was marked by isolation, while for others, public life never went away. Workers in 2020 were poised to see their roles take on more recognized significance along with that new stressors. For those whose work is essential, many of the features of daily life must remain the same even during unprecedented times. For my project, I interviewed a loved one whose experience of working throughout 2020 has provided a constant perspective into shifting dynamics of public life during the year. Having worked in a bulk warehouse chain for several years, his experience is one of both change and continuity.

At this point in 2021, in-person interactions and travel are still limited, and as a result my contribution to this project was influenced by the moderating and unpredictable aspects of technology, the awkwardness of distance and closeness, but above all the maintenance of human connection during challenging times.

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