Meat+Poultry - July 2020 - 8

C O M M E N TA R Y

Small sacrifices
The one thing this pandemic has
taught me is that there is no such
thing as "normal." The way I used to
go about my daily life - going to the
gym, sending my kids off to school,
commuting to my office, sitting in an
open cubicle environment with coworkers, eating out at restaurants for
lunch on a regular basis, socializing
with friends after hours, visiting inperson with family on the weekends
and flying on airplanes regularly for
work and personal travel - isn't the
way I live my life today.
At some point, I hope and believe
that life will be back to "normal," but
for now my "new norm" continues -
working from my home office, donning
a face mask when running in and out
of the grocery store, the pharmacy, the
bank (really when I go to any indoor
location), getting curbside pickup orders
from my favorite restaurants instead
of eating in and visiting with friends
and family by social distancing on our
driveways or having Zoom video calls in
the evenings. This is my coronavirus life
and it is probably pretty similar to the
lives of many people these days.
In my line of work - trade magazine
publishing - I didn't have to make too
many adjustments in order to keep
working. I brought my laptop home,

bought a second computer monitor
and made sure my Wi-Fi could handle
everyone in my house being online at
once. Writing and editing a magazine can
easily be done from home by making
a few small adjustments, and not a lot
of sacrifices. I've turned my in-person
meetings into video conference calls and
we are now routing our magazine page
proofs online instead of handing printed
pages from one person to another in the
office. That's really about all the changes
I had to make when things starting
changing back in mid-March. I am lucky
that my adjustments could be made
quickly and easily and have been able to
keep me home and working, safely.
Not everyone out there is as lucky.
I think about the meat processing
plant workers working side by side on
the production lines - because that's
how it has to be done in a processing
environment - taking risks in order
to do their jobs and bring food to our
tables. They are wearing masks, social
distancing where possible at work
and taking staggered breaks so they
can have less exposure to others. The
companies themselves are investing
a lot of money into developing safety
protocols to protect their employees
- putting up plastic dividers between
workers where possible, installing
temperature scanners, providing paid
leave when workers are infected or
even just exposed to infected people
and need to be quarantined.

When I go to the grocery store,
I think of all the adjustments they
have had to make. Plexiglass panels
have been added to each checkout
line to keep workers and customers
safely separated. All the workers now
have to wear masks throughout their
many-hour shifts, and the cleaning
crews are working double-time to keep
the store clean as customers pour
in and out all day long. I appreciate
all that they are doing to keep their
workers and customers safe and am
grateful that I am one of the lucky
ones whose job can be done without
those adjustments.
A lot of people are making
sacrifices so that our lives can be as
"normal" as possible. I appreciate those
efforts and want to do my part. The
smallest sacrifice I can make is wearing
a mask. Meat plant employees, grocery
workers and health care providers are
required to wear one, so I can too.
I don't love wearing a mask, but I
do it. I do it to protect others, in case I
am infected and don't know it. I do it to
protect myself (having a mask on surely
keeps germs out better than no mask at
all). And I do it to show some respect to
all the people out there, including health
care workers, grocery store employees
and our industry's meat processing
workers, who are making sacrifices in
their jobs in order to keep my life as
"normal" as possible.
K I M B E R L I E C LYM A | kc l y m a @ s o s l a n d .c o m

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Meat+Poultry - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - July 2020

Meat+Poultry - July 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - July 2020 - 2
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