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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome
I am not an expert in immunology - I follow doctors for that. But I did spend 9 years as a manager at a pizza place that paid better than average wages for food service. And I am terrified of . Not because the virus is going to kill people, but because poverty might. /
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
Y'all, all laws aside, nobody in the restaurant industry goes to the doctor when they're sick. There are health code rules about what symptoms exclude you from work - you have to go to the doctor and get cleared, or be symptom free for 24 hours. And they are *never* followed. /
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
The people making your food do not have health insurance. Restaurants almost never offer it. They do not have paid time off. Benefits like that aren't imaginable. They do not have enough people in the schedule to cover an absence. "Lean Staffing." It's more profitable. /
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
The average age of a fast-food worker is 29. The average income is $8.69 an hour. I was taxed around 21% on paychecks. The average doctor's visit w/o insurance, costs $300-600. 43.7 hours. At minimum, more than a week's take-home pay. Going to the doctor is an *insane luxury*.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
I have watched people PRIDE themselves on working through illness and injury. I had a driver break his foot by stepping on a tennis ball in someone's driveway, and then work another four days on a broken foot on ibuprofen and spite. Flu-like symptoms? Fuck out of here.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
MOST fast food workers are already on some kind of public assistance. Many of those are "means tested" and require them to keep jobs.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
This means that 1) Fast food workers literally cannot afford to go to the doctor. They will do what we've always done - dose up heavily on DayQuil, puke in the bathroom, explain things away as being "hung over" or "tired," and their manager will pretend nothing is wrong.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
2) Fast food workers literally cannot afford to miss work. The median age is 29 for christ's sake. These are people with bills, families, responsibilities. Median 2-bedroom rent is ~1,194/mo. That $8.69 wage is ~1,190/mo take-home pay. Even w/ roommates, that's HALF YOUR MONEY.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
You can't afford to take off work to go to the doctor, much less take off work when the doctor says you need to be quarantined for three weeks. You need every hour. Otherwise you lose your job, then your housing, and anything else that keeps the wolf away from the door.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
When this happened to me, the doctor said I needed to be off my feet and resting for two weeks, light duty for another two. I took 4 days. It was one of two times in nine years I missed work, both of them involving a trip to the emergency room.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
People who work food service are less likely to have reliable transportation - so they ride mass transit, exposing themselves to more people. They live together in tight spaces, ensuring it spreads between folks. They have poor diets, poor sleep, and weakened immune systems.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
~14mil people work in food service in the US. They're in every community. Everyone has to eat. They live and work in conditions that make the spread of disease inevitable. They won't go to the doctor until it's a crisis, long after they've passed things on to others.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
The Flu is bad enough, going around a kitchen. is substantially more easily transmitted than the flu. And we've created a situation where food service workers' SURVIVAL depends on doing THE EXACT OPPOSITE of anything that could fight a pandemic.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
And these are the people making your food.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
The average food service worker is a millenial. 62% of us live paycheck to paycheck. And it doesn't have to be like this. In our parents' lifetimes, it wasn't. God Bless the Conservative movement and their deregulation, pro-business legislation, and "choice."
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
Poverty is a public health crisis, y'all. Wage Slavery kills. And if you can't be bothered to care about that out of your basic human dignity, maybe the fact that the servile class you've been supported by can't afford to not make you sick will fucking help. Eat the rich. /end
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
I couldn't speak to this from my own experience, but I'm utterly unsurprised to hear it.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
We're on Euro posting hours, so let me explain this: Almost nobody in the US service industry: -Gets any maternity leave -Gets any sick leave -Gets any health insurance -Is allowed to sit down at work.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
It should go without saying too, but better to make it explicit: Service jobs are most of what's available to poor folks. Because of decades of specific descrimination and structural barriers, those poor folks are more likely to be black, queer, female, trans, and/or disabled.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
I worked in food service as a relatively safe and stable, relatively able-bodied, straight-passing white man with some solid support systems in place. Anything I went through? Others had *way the fuck worse.* And MY EXPERIENCE was that of an abusive soul-destroying horror show.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
A lot of already vulnerable people are going to be hurt. And I'm aching.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 26
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
I worked way harder in a kitchen than I ever do in my paid-almost-twice-as-much-and-do-a-thing-that-fulfills-me-with great benefits office job. Hard agree. There's no such thing as unskilled labor.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 27
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
Yeah, I brushed on that, but again for the audience: These workers can be fired, at any time, for any reason. And there's always a stack of applications they could replace you with. They make it clear from day 1. "We're a family! And you're expendable."
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 27
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
To be clear: The virus will mostly kill vulnerable folks. It's a more transmissibile bad flu, that we can't vaccinate against yet. If this kills any poor Americans, it will be income inequality and our piss-poor health system that pulled the trigger. Cheers.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 27
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
I'm exhausted talk to me about Star Trek or something.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 27
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
In my nine years at my pizza place, we hired two high schoolers. Two. In a decade.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 27
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
If I've made anyone nervous about the virus itself, I want to mitigate that - it really isn't the part that scares me. There's an offer, here, from someone who would know, to answer questions or discuss concerns.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Feb 27
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
If anyone thinks for a second this isn't the intentional creation of a management class trying to wring every cent of value out of disposable workers, then I've got a bridge to sell you.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Mar 1
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
So, over the weekend I posted this thread, many of y'all have responded saying how your industry was just as bad. A good chunk of those folks were people who work nursing homes. We now have six cases and two deaths in one nursing home in Seattle.
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Mar 1
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
I've quoted those responses here:
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Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome Mar 2
Replying to @NomeDaBarbarian
Fuck that. I cant afford what that would cost with the insurance I finally do have.
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