I am a retail worker.

I have been forced into the front line of coronavirus. The likelihood that I will contract coronavirus is extremely high. Considering that it doesn’t always show symptoms right away and that symptoms mimic a cold and common allergies – which I suffer from regularly in the spring – I may not even know that I’m carrying coronavirus. I heard somewhere that there was a weeklong latency where you can give it to other people before you show symptoms yourself.

Right now, due to the pandemic panic, I come into contact with more than 100 people a day. I have handled every single piece of merchandise inside the store. (No, that is not an exaggeration as we just prepared for and then cleaned up from a store inventory.) In some cases I have helped you to your car or to the register with this merchandise. I have been bumped into, pushed aside and close talked at all day for the past week.

If I had coronavirus I would have infected well over 500 people.

I have gotten absolutely no hazard compensation for being forced onto the front line and exposed to coronavirus on a mind-blowingly large scale. I cannot go see my parents because both of them are immune compromised. I’m being asked to work more and harder than before. I’m afraid that when I stock the shelves I may be attacked so I had to start carrying mace. I’m afraid of all of you, because you’re all potential carriers.

Shut it down before you start killing the people who are selling you food. My life is worth more than your toilet paper.

Melinda Malin

Bowling Green


(6) comments


Thank you for your service, I hope you stay healthy. I believe that most of us appreciate still having the ability to go out and obtain the essential items our families need. I wish your employers did, but hopefully in the future things will change.

When I got to the end of your letter I noticed that there were a couple laugh emojis and I wondered what kind of jerks would find this situation funny. Oh, never mind. As expected.

Absolutely Positively

I thought this was some 20 year-old snot nosed kid. Nope. A grown woman who's full of herself, has a flair for the dramatic, and probably can't figure out why no one takes her seriously. Would suggest that the obvious solution is to get out of low wage retail work, but I'm guessing that the interview probably goes off the rails whenever they get to the questions about solving problems and handling adversity.

Le Ecrivain

And the proposal for getting out of low wage retail work is what, and do provide practical real-world steps that a working person could accomplish. Ditch low wage retail work, which might have some benefits and some marginal government forced things like FMLA for various stints among temporary staffing agencies, assuming they aren't sex discriminators and actually hire women for factories... Perhaps take years off from her job that barely meets her needs so she can gambit on a school program only to face age discrimination at the end and the refusal of Kentucky to issue any licenses to people who don't obtain both education and the jo, unlike most states that will give licenses and certifications with only education. What exactly are your suggestions for the writer of the letter. At the moment it sounds like you are just bashing the low wage people. Yes, wanting an economic shutdown is bad, but nobody else has here interests truly at heart, so why should she have anyone else interests at heart? The social contract is worth the paper it's printed on in these parts.

Absolutely Positively


Enough Already

Ordinarily I agree with you on almost all things. I think you are off base here. I can be blunt but I also appreciate hard working loyal people who do this kind of work and I respect them for it. She did not choose this situation. I know several very intelligent people who enjoy retail work and are not interested in climbing the corporate ladder. Different strokes for different folks, someone has to do this work or we would all be much worse off than we are. I understand what she is saying and I sympathize with her situation. I believe you should also.

Absolutely Positively

I understand she doesn't like the situation, and I wouldn't like it either if I were in her shoes. You wouldn't catch me writing a letter to the paper, complaining about my job and coming across as nuts.

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