The coronavirus continues to spread and more and more countries are taking stricter and stricter steps to contain it as best as possible. With the health crisis in swing, people are debating what might be helping the Covid-19 virus spread. Some of them believe that it’s less a matter of personal hygiene and more a question of wealth.

One Twitter user who spent 9 years managing a pizza place shared their opinion about how restaurant workers in the United States, as well as other food and service industry professionals, might add to the corona-crisis.

According to them, this may happen because a lot of food and service industry workers aren’t able to afford health insurance, wouldn’t be able to take sick days if they get ill, and may end up spreading the virus to others at their workplace. In other words, the Twitter user believes that poverty is the coronavirus’s greatest ally. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with NomeDaBarbarian.

One Twitter user shared their opinion about how poverty might help the virus spread across the US

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

The person explained that a lot of the people working in the food and service industries do not have health insurance

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Bosses expect their employees to work even after they had an accident

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Some believe that fine dining might put even more pressure on their employees

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Quite a few people working in the US service industry have it tough; some of them get penalized for resting

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Bored Panda spoke to Twitter user NomeDaBarbarian about their insights regarding the people working in the food industry and the coronavirus. The Twitter user stated upfront that they’re not a medical expert and said that it’s important to listen to them. “The most important thing to do to stay safe personally is to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, clean electronics that you touch regularly, and do everything you can to avoid touching your face.”

According to NomeDaBarbarian, there are several things that can be done to make sure that people working in the food and service industries have access to health insurance and can take days off if they get ill. “Unions. Labor organizing. An actual left-wing movement in this country; the core of the Democratic party is center to center-right by most world metrics. Decades of long-haul work.”

“At present, it’s not just the individuals not having protection that’s the problem, it’s the entire structure of our service industry. Every small business is ‘lean’ staffed, meaning there’s no redundancy to cover sick people,” they explained. “Even if every person who got sick had insurance they could use, the act of them collectively calling out sick would cripple those businesses. This pressure keeps people (as is evidenced by the responses to my story) from being able to call out even in countries with much stronger safety nets.”

They continued: “It is my personal read of history that the way we are organized, which is a technology, is becoming obsolete. I’m not arrogant enough to claim to know what would be a better system, but I know ours is breaking.”

The response could be better

In the Twitter user’s opinion, the US government’s response to the corona-crisis could be much better. “120 people tested in NYC, and 106 of them turned out positive? That means that most people who should be being tested aren’t. Instead of South Korea’s roadside drive-through test centers, instead of Italy’s massive and coordinated response, we’re… Well, by all accounts, doing nothing.”

“We can’t even test all the people we know were in contact with a positive case and who currently have symptoms. My home state, Colorado, just had a woman visiting Aspen from Australia—on returning home, she tested positive. The people who were in contact with her here are developing respiratory symptoms. The CDPHE said, ‘Pitkin County health officials are working on a plan to get symptomatic people tested.’ Tests aren’t available. Precautions beyond ‘personal responsibility’ aren’t visible. Even those personal precautions aren’t being sufficiently communicated, or followed.”

Helping others stay safe

We also wanted to know what precautions NomeDaBarbarian was taking to steer clear of the coronavirus. “I normally get around by bike and mass transit; I’m cutting down on the latter and taking more time to get to work or any of the other places I need to go. Working in the restaurant industry, ironically, prepared me more for this—I already wash my hands habitually, and now I’m stepping it up. I’m avoiding touching my face or eyes. I’m working on potential plans with my crew at work should any of us get sick, as we have immunocompromised folks on-staff. If we get them sick, they die, so we’ve all got to be careful.”

“That’s the core of it, and something I need to stress—I, by and large, am already safe. I’m young, relatively healthy. Insured. It’s unlikely that I’ll personally be in any danger,” the Twitter user noted. “The work I’m doing isn’t to keep myself safe—it’s to keep myself from making others unsafe. I can survive this, but my coworker, the fifty-something-year-old former rocker who just watched his first grandkid take their first steps, can’t. His lungs are shot, and if I get him sick, he dies. That’s the core of it. Herd immunity. We’ve got to keep each other safe.”

Health crisis and economic turmoil

The internet user’s tweets got more than 10.6k likes and were reshared a whopping 5.8k times. Their opinions about income inequality were supported by a lot of readers, some of whom thought that the situation was “terrifying.”

The virus has spread further in the US over the weekend. At the time of writing, there are more than 565 confirmed cases of people infected with the coronavirus in the country. The death toll from the illness now stands at 22. 19 of these occurred in Washington state which currently has the highest number of ill individuals.

At least 8 states have declared states of emergency, including Washington, California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, Utah, and Oregon. And even some Congressmen, including Ted Cruz and Paul Gosar, are self-quarantining after having interacted with an individual who later tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, the world economy continues to take hard hits as global trade and security suffer. The S&P 500 futures slid down by 5% on Sunday evening; Dow futures fell 4.9%; Nasdaq Composite futures were down 4.8%. In other words, we’re witnessing some economic shocks that we haven’t witnessed since the last recession.

Some people shared their own experiences working in the industry

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Image credits: Lily_Warrior

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Poverty is a complex problem

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Some bosses can fire their employees at any moment

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Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

A lot of adults end up working jobs that some see as being meant for high school kids

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Universal paid sick leave might help alleviate the spread of the virus

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A lot of people are hard-pressed to continue working no matter what

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The coronavirus continues to spread in the US

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Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

People shared their experiences working in the food and service industries

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Image credits: queer_hellenic

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Image credits: genteelhart

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