BAILEY PIERCE works in the food market at Target. Prior to this job, he worked as an EMS and in the ER in a Savannah hospital and learned about infectious disease, so he’s familiar with the way viruses spread.
This is his Quarantine Chronicle.
How are you?I’m doing fine. As bad as it sounds, it’s a great time to be an introvert. Things have been pretty much normal for me. I work the same amount of hours and the same amount of days. My roommate is a nurse, so he works the same.
We both stay inside pretty much the entire time. People are just wearing masks around now. It’s nice to have a reason to cancel on friends now.
What have people at the store been like?Our sales are usually dominated by clothing or style, which is 90% of the store. This past month, we’ve doubled [in the food department] in sales. We’ve been getting the majority of the people, which is great for the store, but I personally don’t like it because I don’t like all these people walking around coughing on everything.
I’ve never seen so many little kids in the store until this time. I guess no babysitters are available.
Do you feel like it’s safe to work?Yeah, to an extent. I’m very proactive about washing my hands, but I was like that before. I’m not a germophobe, but I don’t like having dirty hands. This is a normal routine.
Before I worked at Target, I worked EMS and in the ER, so I have a little bit of background. Target is my ideal easy college job while I finish school, which is kind of paused right now.
I feel like them buying the masks and gloves—which I don’t understand the gloves, but the masks, sure—it gives people more of a peace of mind. If you’re infected, you’re going to infect people regardless. But I guess it gives people peace of mind, especially the shoppers. They see you in a mask and are like, “Oh, okay.” Unless everything you touch, you take the gloves off after, it’s not going to do anything.
Do you feel like people are being nice to you at the store?For the most part, it’s been really enjoyable these past couple weeks. People will thank you, be super grateful. They don’t approach you like they would before. People have a little bit of common courtesy right now.
There are some people who always want to bump elbows. The six-feet rule is only convenient to them.
Does your experience with working in a hospital make you feel more prepared right now?A lot of what I enjoyed studying while I was at the hospital was disease transmission and how to avoid getting certain diseases, because we didn’t have the best PPE at the hospital I worked at. I’m not going to name any names because it’s here in Savannah. I learned about different types of transmission of disease, whether it’s droplet, airborne, blood borne pathogens.
I have an understanding of what this COVID thing or SARS thing is; I’ve seen someone die from it. It was a patient, I think it was back in 2018. We only worked the cardiac arrest, so like the last part of it.
Your roommate works at the hospital. What’s that like for you when he comes home?We usually will keep space. He’ll come home, take off his scrubs, take a shower, and the scrubs stay in his room. We have a two-bedroom townhouse, but it’s very large, so it’s easy to keep a lot of room. He cleans a lot, like a lot lot. Usually there’s everyday there’s Clorox on everything.
What else do you want people to know?My big thing is respecting personal space. Even before all this, I don’t like people just coming up in my bubble. Now, it should be super, super important to keep six feet away or more. It’s a mutual respect people need to learn right now.
As bad as this sounds, I think this particular strain of virus is going to adapt and become seasonal, so I think this might be a new way of life for us for a month or two out of the year. This SARS virus, there are eight different versions of it going around the world right now. COVID-19 is just the new strain, but there’s seven other strains of it. I think it’s going to adapt to the point where it’s like the common flu.