Friday, September 25, 2020

Woman Risks Health to Deliver Food to Others

A woman with a preexisting condition works seven days a week delivering food to others in need, even though she is at a higher risk of developing the coronavirus’s harmful effects.

Jolene Hunt is the only person in her household who works after her fiance lost a trucking job in November for health reasons, and her 16-year-old daughter lost her job at Panera Bread due to the coronavirus closures, the York Daily Recordreported.

The family shares one car.

She is also reliant on the money to pay her rent. Her landlord took her to court on March 12, seeking $2,300 in rent, but she did not have it and now has 30 days to come up with the money.

Because no one else in her family works, Hunt, an independent contractor, works seven days per week delivering groceries from the Walmart Supercenter in West York, Pennsylvania, to the elderly and disabled.

Hunt is paid $7 per delivery she makes and makes $10.50 for completing two separate stops.

“That’s why we heavily rely on tips,” she said. “There are some days, I’ve only made $48, and there are days I can make $110.”

Hunt does this job despite having an asthma condition that puts her at a higher risk if she catches the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “people with asthma may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.”

The virus can trigger an asthma attack, which can lead to acute respiratory disease and pneumonia.

But Hunt does not let the risks get to her. She considered wearing a mask on her rounds but thought it would scare away her customers, giving them the impression that she has the virus.

“The risks for me don’t outweigh the risks that other people have,” Hunt said Monday.

Instead, she stocks up on hand sanitizer while Walmart employees load her vehicle with groceries, all while keeping a safe distance from her.

She says her customers, the elderly and disabled, are her motivation, and once worked 32 straight days to ensure her customers got what they needed.

“It will be a while until I take the day off again, at least until this crisis is over,” she said. “If I am keeping one person from getting sick by going to Walmart, then it’s all worth it.”

Katherine Rodriguez

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