Essential workers respond to Coronavirus effects on home life

Sydney Fischer
4 min readMay 6, 2020

Health experts offer valuable tips on ways to protect family

Hundreds of UNR students and their parents continue to work during the Covid-19 pandemic, and many remain concerned about ways to protect their family and friends when returning home from work.

“The models change based on our behavior. We are in a better spot than we were six weeks ago, and we’ve got much more data to help us move forward as we work on our plan to re-open the state’s economy,” Steve Sisolak, the Nevada governor states in a recent press release.

With new openings on the horizon, these same workers are concerned about increased infections from more non-essential workers as they enter necessary work environments during the first government-opening phase, which could rapidly increase the spread of Covid-19.

Governor Sisolak states experts say lack of control in how Nevada shifts into phase one can lead to negative results with effects showing up in as little as two to three weeks.

Essential workers describe the situation as difficult in execution but necessary for health.

According to the OSF Healthcare blog, an integrated health care network serving patients of all ages across Illinois and Michigan, there are several ways to prevent the spread at home including having a separate pair of shoes outside, changing out of your work clothes, wiping your phone, showering once you’re inside your house, adhering to eating and sleeping schedules, trying not to induce stress, and checking your health regularly.

Monserrat Marquina at Advanced Technologies Academy on 3 Sept., 2018.

Essential workers, including some that are UNR students, agree. “When I come back home I grab everything that needs to stay in the garage, specifically my scrubs and clothes,” Monserrat Marquina, a 19-year-old student and part-time receptionist at a primary care office in Las Vegas explains. She explains her routine which includes spraying her clothes and showering once she is inside her house.

Monserrat continues explaining how her situation at home is difficult, as she lives with her grandmother and her mother who works at the same primary care office. She says they must clean items that could have germs and do so before their grandmother is exposed. Specifically, they clean all dishes, doorknobs, and floors that have been touched by her or her mother.

Guadalupe Solano in Las Vegas 16 Dec., 2019 at the Ameribrunch Cafe.

“After coming home from work, I would put my clothes in a separate washing basket and wash my hands when I got home,” Guadalupe Solano, an 18-year-old student and former part-time ticket office representative at the T-mobile arena in Las Vegas states. “When the pandemic started, I began to greet my parents and grandparents from far away, wash my hands, and take a shower.”

Guadalupe explains she believes precautions she took after returning home from work were beneficial because nobody in her house got sick, especially since some people in her house are high risk due to age.

“My roommates and I sanitize everything whenever someone uses communal areas in our house. We also wash our hands and wear face masks when going out in public,” Vanessa Ribeiro, a 19-year-old student and current full-time Starbucks barista and online shopper at Smiths explains.

Vanessa states she and the three friends wash their hands and wipe surfaces such as doorknobs and purses while washing clothes regularly. She does so to prevent the likelihood of silent carriers, since a person can get Coronavirus from touching an item infected people previously touched.

These essential workers explained their feelings towards the impact phase one could have on themselves, their family, and health of the nation.

Vanessa Ribeiro in Reno, NV. on 1 May, 2020.

“People aren’t taking this as seriously as they should,” Monserrat explains. “They come into my office without protection which makes it seem like they don’t care about others’ health. The start of phase one allows the pandemic to seem less relevant despite numbers in positive tests continuing to increase.”

Guadalupe explains after implementation of phase one she most likely wouldn’t interact with her grandparents as much to reduce risk of Coronavirus spread. She states she would isolate herself to her room and kitchen.

“Recently we started taking our temperatures after clocking in and it was mandatory to wear masks as of last week at my work,” Vanessa explains with an understanding of how phase one could impact people. “Smiths is making lanes per aisle to enter on one side as a way to maintain social distancing, and floor decals have been implemented to give instructions on where to enter.”

Sandy, a grocery store worker in Los Angeles explains in a CBS news report she struggles with safety as she is unaware of which customers are carriers of the Coronavirus. However, she states she must work as her husband shows symptoms of the virus and relies on medical benefits she receives through work.

Essential workers around the world demonstrate fear for safety of their loved ones and wish for the delay of phase one implementation until positive cases consistently decrease.

Monserrat Marquina: phone number: (702) 439–8489, email:

Guadalupe Solano: phone number: (702) 845–2690, email:

Vanessa Ribeiro: phone number: (775) 685–6507, email:

Written by Sydney Fischer 1 May, 2020. Quotes have been edited for clarity and brevity

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Sydney Fischer

Junior at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in political science and journalism.