‘If my employer said to go, I’ll be there “
James*, mont-de-piété, in the north-west
“We are dealing with money, people goods, and phones. I don’t know if this person is ill, or who they are involved with before they come in contact with us. I’ll try to continue as usual, but it makes you paranoid,” said James, who works at a pawnshop in the north-west. “I’m worried about passing it on to family members who are at high risk.”
James said that some of his clients do not believe that the risks posed by coronaviruses are real, and some are even claim that it is a theory, and subsequently declined to follow the physical remoteness of the guidelines. He does not feel his company has done enough to protect him from this.
“The company has put profits over anything else. I feel like more could have been done in regards to, well, everything, really. They speak of making money, and does not ask if people are well,” he said.
Despite this, he feels he has no choice but to work.
“I’m in the north-west, where the rate R is not very far below 1, so I think it is a bit too early, I’d like to see that the weakest first. It makes me apprehensive, but I have a mortgage and bills to pay, so if my employer says to come in, I’ll be there.”
‘When we opened the door, nobody was waiting “
Heidi, a gift shop owner, Ambleside, Cumbria
Heidi Schramli past lock to redecorate his shop with his daughter Wren, and had high hopes for a wave of customers on the re-opening.
“The people who passed by while we painted the shop were asking about the opening, so we had a wait a queue outside. But when we opened the door, nobody was waiting for her. The first person who came through the door of the application for a parking disc,” she said. “We wanted there to be fireworks, but we felt so deflated.”
Despite their disappointment, Heidi said she felt a huge relief on the reopening of the shop, describing it as “taking the lid of the pressure cooker,” with all the worries about the reopening under lock restrictions instantly disappear.
The approach of clients to coronavirus measures has been very different, with some wearing full PPE and the other to pick up many items as they navigate.
“It’s certainly been a positive experience,” she said. “It is a relief to see that even if we are always very quiet, the people are grateful for what we do.”
“People are treating this as an output “
Abigail*, art supplies shop staff, London
Abigail, 24, who returned to work on Monday, said she was surprised to see the frustration she feels towards its customers.
“We should be happy to see them, but instead I have the impression that they are essentially putting ourselves at risk to the elements that they can live without, order online. It is difficult not to show anger, but people are treating it as an output. For them, it is just an interaction, but it means that we are in interaction with a hundred people a day,” she said. “We have to be at work and at risk, or even risk our jobs.”
While Abigail said she does not feel that it is too early to open, she described the precautions as “the surface”, and said that she is aware to put on his 70 years of age, the child’s parents, who she lives with, at risk.
According to Abigail, a few of his clients are rigidly to the result of the physical distance measurements in the shop, and it has gotten worse since the beginning of the week.
“At the beginning everyone was super attention, but now that consciousness has disappeared. I think people have given a little. A guy stood back waiting with care, and it is because everyone was pretty pleased with myself.
“A lot of customers just think it is on themselves and how safe they are, not the workers.”
“We did the best that we can to give us the best chance “
Tom Berry, store owner of the shop, Stroud, Gloucestershire
“It is so important for us to reopen, both in terms of revenue, and stay in a community center,” said Tom, who runs a record shop in Stroud with his business partner, Sean Roe. “This is very positive. Record stores are very emotional things, and it’s great for people to come back to them.”
Berry and the eggs were redecorated during the lockout, and have implemented the screening around the counter. They also ask the clients to clean up their hands at the entrance and the exit in order to allow them to browse the records safely, and are currently allowing a single household group in the shop at a time.
“It is certainly worth all the work. We did the best that we can to give us the best chance,” Berry said.
“Time will tell if [reopening non-essential shops this week] it was the right decision,” he said. “It is interesting that we can reopen it, but the children cannot go to school. There is certainly a question mark on the order.”
“We are already making rounds of tea and sharing offices
Phoebe*, kitchen, room d ‘ exposure of the worker, Wales
Phoebe* works in a kitchen showroom in the country of Wales, and returned to work a week before the other stores for reopening. She said that in less than two weeks, the coronavirus measures at work have eased considerably.
“We started by being very rigorous and diligent on the cleaning of the surfaces, using our own stationery equipment and only making drinks for ourselves. However, it is relaxing on an hourly basis,” she said. “We’re already retuning to our old ways of making rounds of tea, and desktop sharing.”
Guests of Phoebe showroom have mainly appeared relaxed about the risks, with very little to avoid touching the surfaces, or the wearing of PPE.
“We propose to use masks with the customers, but nine out of 10 people say they are not. Due to the nature of our work, most clients have already had of merchants and entrepreneurs in their home throughout lock, so they are a little more relaxed,” she said.
“It would be stupid to say I wasn’t worried about the virus; it would only take a single customer to the spread of the infection. But I need to do my job.”
* name has been changed at the request of the interviewee