I know everyone is tired of hearing about covid-19. I'm not here to talk about how dangerous it is, or voice my opinion one way or the other on masks. I'm here as a front line worker venting my opinion on how capitalism and this virus are a mix for destroying my country. In all honesty I should probably have titled this entry more accurately, but I want your attention. But let's get to my point. I realize that some of you reading this don't understand and can't fathom a job outside 9-5, weekends off, paid sick leave, and a salary under $5,000 a month. But here is the reality of our world. In my industry that I love (even though customers are getting more and more rude these days and I would rather slap more of them then serve them), there is no such thing as paid sick leave. Yeah, if I get sick I can take the time off to rest. In fact I am required by law to not show up for work if I am showing any symptoms of a possible food related virus, no matter how mild. However, it doesn't work out that way. Most food service workers hide their symptoms and we have to keep working till someone finds out. Partly because at our pay, if we miss even one shift of work, there goes our rent payment, or our utilities, our food, our transportation. If I miss even half a shift at work, my life is on the line. There is no such thing as sick pay to protect me from making ends meet. There is no such thing as paid vacation days that i could use to cover things. From what i understand from watching friends get sick with covid, they are sick from 2-4 weeks. That is a whole month of pay. If i get covid, my house, car, and food are gone. Another reason my line of work doesn't allow for getting sick and staying home is how management works out. Now, before you grumble to yourself about how much of a slave driver food managers are, and how hypocritical we are, let me explain something to you. Most of the people we hire are under the age of 25 and not very mature no matter how they act. I have had employees call in for things ranging from a hang nail, to a sick pet, one of my employees had the same grandma die 4 times in one month. That is one hell of a feet for that old woman, although I do wonder how she got back out of the coffin each time. So as you can imagine, corporate has put in rather asinine rules for handling call ins. We are required to ask for doctors notes, copies of obituaries, copies of wedding invitations, so on and so forth. I hate the process, but thank your children for fucking this one up. Now we get to the point of this part. So how come I don't just go and get a doctors excuse I'm sure you are asking. Let me fill you in. For us food service lifers that truly live and breath the industry, health care is impossible. At $12/hour, I make to much to qualify for government funded healthcare. I am exactly $42.78 over the monthly allowed income cap for badgercare in my state. But surely there is the affordable care act, there must be something I can get to cover my doctor visits. No, there isn't. I've spent hours searching, the cheapest health insurance I could find is $400/month and comes with a $5,000 deductible every 6 months. ........ yeah, I'm not gonna detail my bills and income here, but there is no way I can afford that. So how come I don't just pay out of pocket like I do for my glasses and dental (oh yeah,side note, the plans I could find didn't cover eye care and dental). So my yearly check up for my eyes, thankfully coincides with tax season, and takes about 1/5 of my tax return depending on if I just get glasses, keep my old frames, or decide I want contacts this year. The eye doctor usually runs me about $200, unless I decide to go the fancy route, but that will probably change this year. I have developed a slight stigmatism, so my glasses will go from $150 to about $250 just for the lenses, I'm not diving into frames right now. Why is this important? Have you ever gone to the ER? Walk in? Or made an appointment to get checked for cold and flu? No matter which way you go, it is $300 just to walk in the door. Then $150 for the doctors time, $75 for the nurses time, $500-$1,500 if the doctor decides you need blood work, depending on what else is going on, even more services are added on. Thank you, I think I'll skip the doctor and skip calling in. Last time I went to go for a doctors excuse the total bill was $1,276.42. Oh yeah, hospitals will not let you make an appointment of any kind if you owe them money. So you are stuck with life saving events and that is it. However there is a fun loophole me and my employees use, if I get sent home from work for being sick you don't need a doctors excuse. So all ya gotta do is go to work, make sure a manager sees you throwing up in the back kitchen. Now you get the rest of the day off, and can go home and rest. No doctor, no test for food poisoning, no bills. If you are still sick the next day, rinse and repeat. So how does this add up. Well, for most food born illnesses, and cold and flu, this is not a big deal. With how often we clean surfaces, wash our hands, wear gloves the environment is really hard to spread illness. However there are some like food poisoning and covid that are highly contagious and spread very very easy. But hey, what's wrong with sharring the love. Now you can keep me company while we both get sent home from work. Total side note before I get off my soap box, quit bitching about food poisoning, the name is scarier then the bug. The average person gets food poisoning 2-3 times a week, and over 90% of the cases are from the food in your own home and how you handle it. 24 hour bug is food poisoning, those cramps you are having out of nowhere are probably food poisoning. Hmmm, lose stool today? Yup, that's food poisoning, probably from the homemade yogurt you tried making 2-3 days ago. But I'm shutting up now, thank you for listening.