Are us gig workers essential or not?

Are us gig workers essential or not?

Long before this pandemic started, we, as gig workers, were providing our communities with an important service. From grocery shopping and delivering, to food deliveries and even giving rides to and from appointments, we have always been helping those in need, who can’t otherwise perform these services for themselves.

Whether disabled, or just plain tired that day, customers have been able to rely on us to be there when they needed something that they could not get themselves.

I believe it started out with ride-sharing. Uber and Lyft were among the top companies. Not too long after that, it turned to food delivery. UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash etc., were all the top names where people could pay a small fee to have their meals delivered directly to them. We delivered to their homes, their work, hospital rooms, hotels and even boats. Of course grocery delivery was right around the corner with companies such as Instacart, Shipt & many more.

It has me wondering, what could possibly be next?

Once the pandemic hit, everyone panicked. I remember being so busy, I felt like I was never home. We were delivering items to doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, elderly and everyone who was afraid to be out in public. Even though we too were in jeopardy of catching this terrible virus, we pushed through it. We were providing essential services to the first responders “on the front lines.“

I believe it’s safe to say that we too were on the front lines.

Now, over one year later and there is finally a vaccine. The thought of not having to quarantine or wear masks is an exciting thought! There was a time when we weren’t sure if it would ever be possible. We had developed a “new norm.” 

Vaccine distribution is a process all in itself. Millions have already received not only a first dose, but a second dose as well. But how many of YOU have received it? How many of US have received it?

All of the people we were providing essential services to, have been vaccinated. Why not us? 

When the communities needed us, we were there, despite the consequences. So why does it seem like we are the last on the list?

I know that with time, we will receive the vaccine just like everyone else. But while we wait, how many of us will contract the virus? How many of our families will become ill, hospitalized, or even die?

I know when the government sets up their process of who gets vaccinated, they factor in a lot of different things. It just seems to me that they never factored in us.

I remember receiving an email from Uber and maybe a few other delivery apps, stating that they were backing the fight to get us up to the top of the list as essential employees. At the time I thought it was great! I mean here are these companies that we are contracted under, that are out there rooting for us to be treated like first responders, pushing to get us vaccinated and keep us safe.

I never heard anything back from any of them.

Each time they change the requirements for who can be vaccinated, It never seems to include us.

We were considered essential when people needed us to perform a service for them, that could put them at risk, but what about now? Are we essential or not?

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