In this time of confusion and a heightened awareness of those around us and the impact of distancing away from each other, a widely forgotten group of people are the construction workers.
Deeming all construction workers essential workers seems an uneducated choice. Most construction on remodeling jobs is stopped because inspections aren't being made on houses that are owner-occupied. This means that for people like my husband, who is a plumber, working in brand-new homes being built — he can continue work as usual, which would be a good thing, except for the fact that all the jobs his company works on are in D.C., Montgomery County and northern Virginia, where the most densely populated cases of COVID-19 are located.
While the majority of people can go out and wash their hands immediately, most construction workers don't have that choice. There are no sinks and soap on-site, and the hand sanitizers in the bathrooms have been stolen time and again.
These men and women are working in these high-risk areas, and then aren't even given the things they need in order to stay safe and clean. Then they get to come home to their sheltering families, which almost defeats the purpose of shelter in place, when now whatever he may get will most certainly be passed on to our four young children and myself.
Now I ask you, why doesn't anyone care about preserving the health and safety of our construction workers? If a water main breaks, that is essential, working on a multimillionaire's brand-new, 10,000-square-foot home is not essential. These are the kinds of things we are forcing our construction workers to do in a time where deeming something essential should be assessed to a "T" so as to minimize the amount of people out and about in our world and stop this thing from spreading.
If we know how contagious this virus is, and we know that washing of hands is absolutely key, why are we sending workers to work all day and have nothing available for them to wash their hands? If you think it doesn't affect you, then I encourage you to think about it the next time you're handed change from the grocery store or the next time you pick up a gas pump. Jobs should be required to provide hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations to all workers, and if they can't, then they should be shut down. Until we do that, this will continue to spread and more people will get sick.