Restaurant Workers Should Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine. Why Aren’t We?

I got ready to settle down Pinch of Chinese for our usual delivery and take-out service in early February when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the indoor food would be returning to New York. As a sommelier at the restaurant, I was a little relieved because I thought this might make Pinch survive beyond spring, but at the same time I was scared. At that point, restaurant workers like me were not eligible for the vaccine and were therefore at risk of contracting COVID-19. Cuomo’s decision sparked an outcry from industrial coalitions Foundation of the restaurant workers’ association, Food journalistsand everyone in between. Amazingly, and possibly due to setbacks, the governor quickly added restaurant workers to the Phase 1b group, but passed these vaccines on to “local communities if they felt they were working within their local prioritization,” a vaguely worded addition, which I understood as a restaurant worker, they were allowed to receive the vaccine – only if there was enough left.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have reportedly been classified as “material”. But it has become clearer to me that restaurant workers are seen as a different kind of “essential”: workers who do what others don’t want, not just making food and looking after customers, but attending to their needs, not their needs . That’s not all we do.

In the most platonic ideal, restaurants serve communities. We encourage our neighbors to get to know each other. We supply a wide range of suppliers and strengthen relationships within the local economy. We celebrate all happy occasions with our guests and pity them when things are bleak. (Unfortunately, in trying to make everything look and feel good, the industry has maintained whites’ supremacy by ignoring the rampant problems of abuse, Sexual harassment, racism, and xenophobia.) In the COVID era, each of these acts of service is diminishing, and that hospitality cannot be translated into something that is packaged and delivered. But even before the pandemic, working in restaurants was seen as a transitional job to make money while the career of our dreams takes care of itself.

As restaurant staff, we felt like afterthoughts. Cuomo isn’t the first to hand over the money. Instead of restaurant owners paying workers Wages that can keep up with the cost of livingThey are happy to be imposing this responsibility on customers under the guise of Tilt and shipping costs. Instead of making them available to the government decisive legal assistance and financial support In independent restaurants during the pandemic, the free market may dictate their lack of action who gets to survive according to the whim of the landlord and those who have all the resources, thanks to late-stage capitalism. Instead of a public that prioritizes that Health and safety of others and appreciates the efforts of its essential workers on whom American consumers have given in Convenience and comfort at their expense. In any event, restaurant staff had to shoulder the brunt of these policy changes and customer demands, as well as the reopening of announcements, by constantly weighing the importance of our individual and collective economic solvency against the potential risk of contagion and spread of the virus.

The vaccine is the carrot on the end of the whip. end of January a study by UCSF found that prioritizing workers in the food and agricultural sectors can significantly lower COVID death rates. Those on the front lines – namely food workers, food processors and farmers who are vital to protecting the food supply chain –Received the vaccine Allowances pretty quick by population groups at risk and first responders. However, vaccine availability for restaurant workers was not achieved until after decisions were made to reopen indoor restaurants such as in New York City and Detroit, or after restaurants remained open but with limited indoor capacity, as in Los Angeles and Washington, DC it seems that a restaurant’s financial health and the radiant effect on the economy take precedence over the people who work in those restaurants.

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