Student Workers Step Up During COVID


Jaedon Wolfrum

Senior Matt Briganti stocks shelves at Mansfieldt ShopRite during the COVID pandemic.

Jaedon Wolfrum, Sports Editor

During a global pandemic, the  world needs all the help it can get and during this one, Warren Hills students were there to help. In supermarkets and restaurants, essential workers were needed locally and students stepped up. 

“I had worked at ShopRite before the pandemic,” said senior Matt Briganti. “Everything is a bit different right now and I wasn’t surprised seeing the workplace change. From the masks to dividers between the registers, they are making sure that their employees are protected.”

Briganti said he learned a lot about people and panic while working at ShopRite during the peak of shutdown.

“Everyone was going crazy and restrictions were put on most items,” he said. “Every week a new item was going out of stock.”

Many changes have been made in everyone’s day to day life, but for some workers, their jobs have changed the most.

“The lack of indoor dining has caused a lot more to- go orders which has given me the opportunity to start doing delivery as well as dishwashing,” said senior Justin Kelly, who works at Villa Venice, a restaurant in Great Meadows. 

 “Adapting to COVID wasn’t easy, but having procedures prepared now will help us in the winter,” he said. 

Different procedures have also been put in place before people  can even start their jobs. 

“I get my temperature checked before every shift,” said senior Jacob White. “It’s usually a quick procedure and it has become a habit.”

Some students’ place of employment had closed and although they are back to work now, things weren’t perfect during the shutdown.

 “We closed for  the first three months and it was confusing,” said senior Anthony Acceturo, who works at Five Acres Flea Market. “I am lucky that restrictions have loosened because now I am able to work and keep myself busy.”

   Some people chose to take off during the pandemic shut down, causing hours to increase for the workers who decided to stay and weather the storm.

 “I got a lot more hours during this whole thing,” said junior Dayton Zabriskie, who worked at ShopRite “but more hours means more pay, so it was worth it in the end.” 

Some seasonal workers were able to go back as well and although being outside, summer camps needed to follow the same guidelines. 

“It wasn’t fun wearing a mask all day in the sun,” said senior Alex Stanneck, who worked at Tamarack  Summer Camp in Randolph, “but everyone is adjusting and it’s like every job–if you don’t follow the rules, you get fired.”