How essential workers are weathering coronavirus : The Indicator from Planet Money Essential workers put themselves at risk of infection every day to keep the economy running. But many aren't well protected or compensated for the dangerous work they do.

Essential Workers

Essential Workers

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Minerva Alers
Minerva Alers is a hospital security guard in Manhattan and is an essential worker.
Minerva Alers

Tens of millions of workers throughout the United States have been forced to work from home to help slow the spread of coronavirus during this pandemic. Tens of millions more have lost their jobs and are now suffering through unemployment.

And then there are the essential workers. These are people who have kept their jobs, but who can't work from home. These people have to go out into the world every day, risking contact and infection with coronavirus.They're delivery workers, hospital employees, agricultural laborers, clothing and eyeglass makers, plumbers, road workers and maintenance people.

These people have found themselves in a unique position. They're often poorly paid and don't have much in the way of workplace protections. But they're taking big risks for us, and without them, our economy would come to a halt. Today we talk to one such worker about what it's like to be an essential worker, and discuss what governments might do to compensate essential workers for the vital work they do.

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