Skip To Content
  • Coronavirus badge
18 Mar 2020

This Is Why We Need To Be Kinder To Retail Workers During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Be kind and courteous — and above all, don't yell at people who are just trying to do their job.

Since December last year, the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in more than 190,000 people being infected around the world. As of today, 375 Australians have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Andreas Solaro / Getty Images

In Australia, this has led to panic-buying of basic supplies — like toilet paper, pasta, meat and rice — a call for a nation-wide lockdown and several new restrictions implemented by the government to slow the spread of the virus.

So people are panic buying in Sydney. This used to be the toilet paper aisle. #coronavirus

But despite all of this, many retail and service workers, including those that work in hospitality, are still being forced to work during the outbreak.

i don’t understand how people who work office jobs are being told to work from home but retail and service workers are expected to serve the public? i’m handling money, coming in contact with 100+ people a day, and still expected to work in the midst of a pandemic. huh??????

Often with minimal safety standards put in place to protect them.

Literally everything else: Gets cancelled, put on lockdown, huge precautions taken to stop the spread of coronavirus. Retail workers, having to still go to work and face people every day, armed only with hand-washing and hand sanitizer: oh fuck :)))))

It’s a difficult situation. The public relies on these workers for daily essential tasks — like purchasing food from your local supermarket.

someone said retail workers during the coronavirus pandemic are like the band that continues playing while the titanic is sinking im-

And without them, it’s probably safe to say that the current regulations we have in place while shopping — like restricting packs of toilet paper to one per person — would, well, crumble, resulting in more situations like this.

Just a glimpse at my local supermarket here in Australia. Panic and people killing each other over toilet paper! #COVIDー19 has really brought out the worst in people! My heart hurts for the elderly and weak who are struggling to find day to day essentials 💔💔 #panicbuying

In saying that, the amount of abuse and stress that these workers have to deal with on the daily is uncalled for.

praying for those in the medical field, retail, supermarkets, warehouse etc I’m so sorry I wish y’all could stay home bills and rent paid for free I really do & please be nice to them stop yelling at these workers cause there’s no more toilet paper betty, that’s not their fault

There's no need to yell, to start fights, to push people out of the way and to get mad at the workers who are just trying to help you and go about their day.

Just a reminder to be kind to retail workers during a time like this. They have no control over the supply of products or how their management distributes them, it will not benefit you to yell and degrade them. Kindness is pretty contagious too.

Because if you haven't already realised this, not everyone has the privilege of being able to work remotely.

Love to hear the government tell everyone to stay at home, while doing nothing for the fast food and retail workers who are still required to work with the public or perish under the boot of capitalism #covidontario

Or the choice to simply quit and find a different job.

the people that aren’t able to work from home are literally running our communities right now. janitorial staff, retail workers, medical, sanitation, food, delivery & transportation... they all DESERVE a LIVING wage!!!!!!!!!!

The work they do, although risky in this current climate, pays the bills, puts food on the table and ensures that they have a roof over their head.

Everyday on this app people act like fast food and retail workers aren’t important & should just walk out and get different jobs if they want better pay and here we are in a literal crisis where businesses are shutting down but guess which ones are expected to stay open...

So, the next time you come across a retail or service worker, please be courteous. Be kind, respectful and understanding because although they may want to help you, things may be out of their control.

To all the retail workers out there now, you're the real champions. I can't imagine some of the dumb shit you're all going through in the amidst of this. And for the record, there ain't nothing wrong with being prepared. But please be courteous. They're human. Like you.

At the end of the day, they're the ones working the long hours, coming into contact with hundreds of people everyday and above all, trying to cope with everything else that may be going on in their lives.

Never again call retail staff "unskilled workers". Some of them are counselling worried shoppers, policing hygiene, getting abuse & still coping & working very long hours this week, despite everything. All work is skilled. #IrelandLockdown

Shoutout to all the workers — whether that be retail, hospitality, public service, janitorial or the medical field — you guys are champions.

One of the hopes is that people right now are thinking more about how important access to good healthcare is, how valuable teachers are, and how much the food service & food retail workers who are keeping us alive & fed rn deserve a living wage & a real social safety net.