The current Coronavirus pandemic is affecting almost every aspect of American life. At this point, you’ve probably been subjected to a cancelation of some kind. But not everyone can selectively seclude themselves from other people. Some folks, like drivers, have to deal with close proximity to strangers all day.
When things get bad, or even just, weird, the most vulnerable people in the world tend to feel the effects sooner and to a greater degree and there is no finer tightrope to walk than the gig economy. And in the case of app-based drivers, there’s the precarious combination of exposure to people and a lack of employer-offered health insurance.
While driving for Uber or Lyft, whether as a full-time job or as a way to make a little extra cash on the side, they are some of the least protected workers in America. Their own employer fights for the right to pretend that drivers aren’t employees and regularly screws them out of fares. They bring strangers into one of their most intimate spaces and share that space for an extended length of time. What was once a simple tap of an app, has become a fraught journey for driver and passenger alike.
Gig economy workers are on the front lines of the service industry. They do other people’s grocery shopping, deliver their food and drive random people places.
I want to hear how the virus or just fear of the virus is affecting all of you gig worker drivers out there. What are you doing to prepare for outbreaks or mitigate transmission? And are you already feeling the effects of Coronavirus paranoia? What would a two-week self-quarantine do to your finances?
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