Corona experiences of a food vendor

Mohammad has been training as a salesman in a grocery shop in Tübingen for the last three years. He believes that the coronavirus also poses a threat to him even in the workplace. There is “no guarantee that we are protected from the risk of infection at work”. The staff’s only option, he says, is: “We ourselves observe the contact protocol of staying at a distance.” Some of the customers do not maintain the distance, “for example, they get too close to each other and also to us, the staff, during a conversation—even though we have clearly marked in the store that each customer should be at least one and a half meters away from the salesperson and other customers”. He recounts a typical incident with a customer: “I was serving her at the fruit and vegetable counter and wanted to pack her goods into our paper and plastic bags. But the customer demanded that I fill the things into bags that she had brought with her. I refused and told her that I was not allowed to touch them because of the hygiene regulations and that this was best for both of us, especially now during a pandemic. Then she became very loud and scolded me. Finally, she left the goods and walked out of the store.” This incident had “really annoyed” him. But his boss told him: “You did the right thing.” It was only afterwards that he learned from a friend that some people in Tübingen wanted to avoid waste through packaging and therefore brought their own bags with them. Mohammad says, “That is definitely a good idea but because of the danger of infection, it’s not possible at the moment.”

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Impressionen zum Leben in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie: Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL; Mostafa Elyasian, 15.04.2020

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