Friday, April 3, 2020

COVD #6 of 15 April 2020 -- The New Essentials

Updated 4.4.2020

This post updates information from the #4 of 8 posts in March 2020...  The New Essentials.

This crisis added new categories of Essential Emergency Personnel: 
grocery cashiers and clerks, delivery drivers, office and public space cleaners, shop clerks and stockers, warehouse fulfillment center crews, the cooks and chefs making take-out orders. 

Media jobs -- even local reporters have become war correspondents

We are getting news from on-air anchors and personalities -- but not seeing the tech and producing staff behind the scenes. They aren't in the glamour roles, but they are the boots on the ground covering stories at the local hospitals and crisis centers. A family friend who used to work in local news broadcasting reminded me, there are grinding hours on top of the health risk to bring live reports for local viewers. Journalists expected to cover the news as their job, but this high-risk scenario for local coverage is unprecedented.

Repair persons --- now facing "hazmat" conditions

Would you want to be a plumber -- going into the kitchens and bathrooms of strangers right now --- to do your job???
Home and businesses still will need repairs during this crisis. 

These front line draftees are the "New Essentials."

"First responder" was never part of their job description, but they showed up when the crisis hit the fan.

They are joining the medical and traditional first responders who are also preforming above and beyond the call of duty at this unprecedented time.

Update 4.5.20
LA Times article
"retail workers fight for more pay...." by Suhauna Hussain 4.3.2020
quote: "The extra pay is an incentive for those doing increasingly difficult and dangerous jobs — and a recruitment tool as retailers face staff shortages as workers call in sick or take time off. But it’s not necessarily enough to quell workers’ frustration or stave off very real concerns about safety."

(regret I have no credit info for graphics above and below)

Added graphic below on  3.22.20. Nice to see the credit too: Art by Rachel SJ @ sj_rachel

Events have demonstrated how vital these people are to the public. They are showing up for work. Putting their own health at risk. Making the sacrifices it takes to get food, supplies and comfort items to neighbors and strangers.

Art is gratitude (art from Wildd
And artists are included in the "new essentials" group..
Clerks and cleaners at rest stops and gas stations have become essential connections for the goods and services we are counting on to get delivered.

art below by Theo Moudakis, Toronto Star
We are benefiting from all these New Essentials who are sacrificing for us.

Let's make sure they get the credit and compensation they deserve.
(art by Mike Lukovich)

I had a heartfelt conversation with a cashier at Vons, a major chain supermarket. She told me her college aged kids were begging her to cut back on her hours at the store. She told them she couldn't. She was working because so many people really needed her skills now. This was her way to help people in this crisis.

3.23.20 Today show segment "Can You Contract Coronavirus from Delivery Packages?"
Link has video and text with safety info, tips.. and a "thank you" to the heroes at shipping centers.
Op-Ed "I deliver your food. Don't I deserve basic protections?" by Mariah Mitchell, New York Times. 3.17.2020
#Pay UP
Working Washington

Impact on Gig workers and Indie Contractors

Healthcare workers...
And now.. these messages from your doctors..

Washington Post story about how art communicated vital messages in WWII and similarly being used today

And a shout-out to all the teachers... always being asked to improvise and supplement on their own time and their own dime..

This is a link to a UK site, but good tips here for teachers learning to teach remotely

Let's also recognize the new essential support workforce includes artists and the preforming arts.
All the online concerts and dance sessions. All the cartoons and images. All the educational info graphics. All artWORK.

Art is life. All the online art images... the and other art posts shared and streaming at this time confirms this fact: 
We value art and artists. 
We turn to art when we need to be nurtured. 
Let's talk about another fact.
Online content is never "free." 
The images we get to "like" and share are put there by artists and content creators. Online content is the hard work of someone putting in the time, talent, experience and expense (have you priced art supplies lately??) to keep us engaged and entertained.
We are consuming hours of films and TV online. Many of the "below the line" industry workers are free-lance and there are no production jobs right now.

Now it's time to Support and not just "like."
Most indie artists are reeling from loss of income due to postponed or cancelled art fairs and conventions. Many have day jobs in retail/office support/food service industries that are also impacted by shut downs. Artists, like other free lancers, don't have job benefits. Art and graphic supplies they need are not "essential" shipments like food and medicine and may be hard to get or replace. Still, they are posting art and finding ways to use their skills to help in this crisis.

Art in action.
TV Doctors donate medical supplies

Artist makes PSA signs more effective
Artist Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings ( ) made signs to help a SoCal grocery store communicate new rules to their customers. She heard from a friend that worked at the store that there was this need -- and she used her awesome art and info graphic skills. Her art is helping other unexpected front line workers -- the staff at the grocery store -- and their customers. Here are two examples of the signs Lili made.

Compare Lili's artWORK above to an example below of the text-only signs. 
Art and design communicate the message with clarity and impact --
Other artists are launching online campaigns to bring attention to overlooked heroes.
artist Amo Kannika Rachjareon
started #SupportOurHeroes

How do we thank artists??
With financial support.
Buy at their online stores.
Contribute on their pay platforms.
If everyone who "likes" the art they are sharing, and makes a modest contribution of support, it will make a big difference.
Many artists are on funding platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi.Others use services like PayPal, Venmo etc.Pay for a commission. Buy a gift certificate. Make a contribution. Start a Go Fund Me page.
Art is life.

My blog posts are for general information purposes only. My comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.

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