The Privilege of Not Working

I’ve found it easy to be glib about my economic status. I complain that *I just don’t have the money.* If there’s one thing I’m reminded of during the pandemic, at least in the silo of my personal life, is how fortunate I am.

Three weeks ago, as coronavirus began its python squeeze on the American economy, my company announced at least a temporary modus operandi in which it would pay employees even if they chose to stay home for fear of the illness. The company called it “shelter at home,” mirroring the government parlance. Dozens of companies had so far established strategies to respond to the virus, including forming crisis management teams (why hadn’t they already had these in place?), expanding sick leave, and contact tracing for employees who’ve been diagnosed. These all tiptoe around the obvious, correct, and painful solution, which is to let people go home, and with pay, whether they appear healthy or not. Because, as the world has known for weeks (Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp), asymptomatic COVID-19 vectors can infect others. My company had done the right thing, a rarity in the modern employment landscape.

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Aaron Hedge

Aaron Hedge

54 Followers

I like to write about human-wildlife relationships, mostly.