Unprotected, Farmworkers Live in Fear of Covid-19 but Keep Working

"Already at high risk of disease and early death, workers are especially prone to respiratory illnesses, setting them up for the worst ravages of the coronavirus. "

"SAN FRANCISCO — Sixteen men tending budding grapes on a farm in the Sacramento Delta hit the fields by sunrise, arriving in packed cars and vans.

As Americans shelter in place across much of the country, washing their hands and making sure to stay six feet away from others, the farmworkers carpool on grocery runs. At day's end, most retreat to cramped, crowded quarters, sleeping several to a room.

They are not coronavirus deniers: The pandemic terrifies them.

In forums the United Farm Workers union leads on Facebook, they vent about being called "essential," about being compelled to work yet feeling disposable, with no government-mandated protocols to safeguard their health. They are scared to work, scared to not work."

Evelyn Nieves reports for InsideClimate News April 3, 2020.

Source: InsideClimate News, 04/06/2020