‘Every Day Is Frightening’: Working For Walmart Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
A mother in Walmart in the Bronx was worried her 2-year-old was too young to go to a store with masks. Instead, her family bought three boxes of baby wipes.
Originally published on March 15, 2020 7:17 pm
Walmart has a history of adapting to public health crises. And now that the coronavirus pandemic has affected the world — and the daily routines of millions of people — the retailer is working to make sure it’s not forgotten.
For two-year-old Grace, that means keeping her mom as busy as possible.
On Tuesday, Grace’s mom, Maria, will be picking up Grace from day care, where the children play in a warehouse with shelves lined one after another. Grace will then play with Maria in Maria’s apartment, where Maria’s kids and grandkids are taking turns visiting her.
Maria says that she and her children have a ritual — picking up Grace at day care and then making lunch. (She’s making her children’s favorite: baby food.)
“I just keep looking around for more and more,” Maria says. “That’s all I have time for.”
The store was already packed with shoppers Tuesday, but by the end of the day, Maria says she knew she’d have to leave Grace for a while.
“It’s a pretty chaotic day because it’s a lot of people there,” she says.
And then, the pandemic changed everything.
“It’s very overwhelming,” says Maria, adding that it’s already a stressful new normal. “I can’t do what I normally do.”
Maria’s been doing everything by hand, putting diapers on her children in the morning, washing their clothes, folding all the laundry into big trash bags that she takes to the curb. Maria is just getting used to the new normal, and she says she’s learning to “accept it.”
“I am more patient with everything,” she says. “I accept the things of the world as they are.”
Maria, like most everyone, just got a phone call last night.
She’s not sure what to expect, but she’s certain there’s something good