COVID-19 and the "Other" Frontline Workers: Our Truck Drivers04/13/2020By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group The media is rushing to cover all angles of the worldwide pandemic, and a lot of attention has been paid to health care workers, and rightfully so. However, the relentless efforts of other essential workers, such truck drivers, have widely gone unrecognized. As a moving company, we appreciate that professional drivers are on the front lines, working around the clock to transport crucial goods across the country to our communities and to our homes. But, has anyone stopped for a moment to ask the truck drivers how they are faring? Are they able to find much needed supplies? Are restaurants open and showers available? What other challenges are these key workers facing? This week, we set out to find the answers to those questions and more. We polled our very own fleet of household goods drivers and are sharing some of their candid responses. Business as Usual? It likely comes as no huge surprise that the vast majority of our drivers confirmed that that not only is customer demeanor different now with some customers being “worried” and “anxious”, but they also verified that the way they do their jobs has changed over the last few weeks with drivers noting that they are “doing elbow bumps instead of handshakes” and that “all around the country, not just customers, but everyone keeps their distance now”. Drivers, crews and customers alike are effectively and actively practicing social distancing. Essential Items for Essential Workers Dining rooms around the nation have closed to “flatten the curve”, and consumers have stockpiled certain supplies, such as toilet paper, soap and hand sanitizer, leaving none on the shelves in many stores. Our drivers noted that they are experiencing some difficulties finding necessities and have had to think outside of the box a little when it comes to food and antibacterial products. One driver reported, “There is no sanitizer anywhere. I bought some wipes, cleaning spray and rubbing alcohol.” Drivers have been using their ingenuity when it comes to food, as well, with one explaining that he “…has a crock pot in the truck so food isn’t a problem”. While others have resorted to ordering from “Uber Eats and Grub Hub”, as going though a drive-thru isn’t an option in a semi-truck and most drive-thrus don’t allow walk up ordering. When asked about the biggest challenges that they are faced with currently, safety was in the forefront of everyone’s mind. As one driver put it, he just wants “to be safe and keep my customers safe”. Another driver might have summed it up best when he said, “I’m certain this is just the beginning. It will only get worse. But I still plan on being out here. So, let’s keep rolling and be safe.” Thus, take a moment and acknowledge the truck drivers who haven’t been the topic of numerous frontline worker articles, but who keep our world moving efficiently, even amid unparalleled circumstances. They are putting in grueling hours away from their homes and risking possible exposure to COVID-19 because, publicized or not, they are essential. To all the truck drivers out there…. Thank You!