On the first day of New York’s historic statewide stay-home order, the message from one FreshDirect delivery person (who didn’t want to be named) was clear: Things are going to be fine, if people would just stay home.
By around 10:30 a.m., the full-time employee said the truck had already made “a ton of deliveries” in the county just north of New York City and that there was plenty more work to be done before the workday was over.
Customers shop at a fruit and vegetable street cart while wearing protective masks due to COVID-19 concerns, Monday, March 23, 2020, in New York.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The worker’s day had mostly included stops to those in the most serious of need, like the elderly and disabled, but included “all kinds of people.”
“It feels good to be helping out,” the FreshDirect employee said. “At the same time, you don’t know who’s got what. You’ve gotta stay away from people… I don’t know.
“It’s mainly toilet paper,” the worker added. People are getting a lot of prepared meals, as well, “but mainly a lot of toilet and paper towels.”
“No one wants to go to the supermarket anymore,” the worker said.
“No one wants to go to the supermarket anymore,” the FreshDirect employee said.
(Don Emmert / AFP via Getty Images)
As of 8 p.m. Sunday, residents of New York state were required to practice mandatory six-foot social distancing if they had to go outside, and all non-essential businesses were closed (among other things) as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on PAUSE” executive order.
The governor said previously “we’re all under quarantine now.”
Still, this essential worker’s outlook was overwhelmingly positive, as the employee felt lucky to be among those who are still working, seeing as millions more around the world were not nearly as fortunate.
“They’re leaning on us heavy,” the worker admitted, “but people are giving tips.”
Part of the day-to-day duties now involve taking plenty of extra precautions, too.
“FreshDirect provides us with sanitizer, they provide us with wipes. We’ve just got to keep everything sanitized.”
A train conductor walks through the virtually empty Grand Central Terminal on March 22, 2020, in New York City. The “New York State on PAUSE” executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone, went into effect at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
(Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
The employee takes these precautions seriously, adding that they’re easy enough for everyone to understand. “Keep your hands sanitized, wash your hands, bathe. You know? That’s all.
“Even though I’m out here, I still take precautions,” the worker added.
“If you don’t have to come outside, just stay home. I know it’s boring,” the employee lamented, “But, you know, we gotta do what we gotta do to stay safe. So it’s best to just stay home, buy food, rent movies, you know, and chill,” said the FreshDirect worker.
Then it started snowing.