Pandemic changes life perspective

Many major U.S. retailers have announced their closures on Thanksgiving this year due to COVID-19, including Walmart and Target.

The changes made to Black Friday traditions are forcing people to reevaluate what is truly important at this time.

Many people love indulging in Black Friday shopping — the thrill of staying up late at night or waking up at the crack of dawn to get the best deals — but this exciting tradition is being taken away.

However, there are many positive aspects to closing stores on Thanksgiving. Not only is it keeping people safe by preventing them from gathering in huge crowds but it also gives essential workers the holiday off so they can spend time with their families.

Adrien Martinez, an essential worker at Walmart, says, “It is good that they are closing stores for the holidays’ sake, especially because it would put all of the workers and customers at a much higher risk than normal.”

Despite the rise in cases of coronavirus, many people wonder how the outbreak may positively impact holiday hours for workers in the future and change the way people shop.

Anthony Edward, an essential worker at Amazon, says, “Given our current circumstances, I am all for them closing. This is an unusual year for retail businesses. I would further implement that Walmart pays their employees for those days. They can afford it!”

Another example of sacrifice is wearing a mask in public. Nobody wants to do it, nobody is comfortable, and nobody thinks it is convenient. However, there is value in doing so because the act is a small sacrifice to benefit a large number of people.

COVID has forced us to see that maybe our world is too selfish. Giving up one night of shopping and sacrificing comfortability for a short period of time is not a huge ask during times like these.

Perhaps it is time people reflect on their morals and reevaluate what truly matters in life and what is most rewarding.

Aside from COVID impacting store policies around the country, COVID has changed perspectives in school settings as well.

“COVID has brought to light how lax we got with safety precautions, such as washing hands,”  Karl, a member of the Maintenance Department at Joliet Junior College, said.

Perhaps something good can come out of COVID is reinventing safety policies and procedures.

The Automotive Department at JJC is one example of improved safety policies.

A.J. Graf, one of the service managers, explained how customers’ cars are now being sanitized upon entry as well as when they are exported to ensure everyone handling them is being kept safe. Students are working at every other station versus being side-by-side to ensure that they are socially distancing.

“We run a line shop five days a week,”  Graf said.

While things are now running smoothly at the auto shop, Graf is grateful that COVID forced them to rethink and improve safety procedures.