In this March 26, 2020, file photo, Garrett Ward sprays disinfectant on a conveyor belt between checking out shoppers behind a plexiglass panel at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Overland Park, Kan. From South Africa to Italy to the U.S., grocery workers — many in low-wage jobs — are manning the front lines amid worldwide lockdowns, their work deemed essential to keep food and critical goods flowing. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Every day, grocery workers are restocking toilet paper, eggs, produce and canned goods as fast as the items fly off the shelves.
They disinfect keypads, freezer handles and checkout counters as hundreds of people weave around them, sometimes standing too close for comfort amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some work for hours behind clear plastic barriers installed at checkout counters, bulwarks against sudden sneezes or coughs that can propel germs.
They aren’t doctors or nurses, yet they have been praised for their dedication by Pope Francis, former U.S. President Barack Obama and countless people on social media, as infections and death counts rise. Read more >>