“You are now the Covid line”


This was 3 years ago this week, so I guess I guess this is as good a time as any for this tale…I work for a non-profit call center, and at the time my job was to help people sign up for emergency benefits. Power getting shut off? Here’s where to get an assistance application, here’s the documents you need, and here’s where to send them. Need food stamps? Contact this agency. About 4 months into the job, Covid hit and I was sent to work from home, doing the same job…. For about 2 weeks. Then the governor started doing his daily, televised Covid updates. The first day he says (to millions of people) “If you have any questions regarding the virus, call (my company’s hotline #) and their trained staff will be able to answer any questions you may have”. Remember how much people knew about Covid in those first few weeks/months? Nothing! Know how much I knew about Covid in that time? Less than nothing! I was given a 45 minute Zoom training session (I recently looked at my notes from that training. They didn’t even fill an entire notebook page), and was pretty much thrown into calls like “Here are my symptoms, am I going to die?”, or “My father is on a ventilator, why won’t they let me in the hospital to say goodbye to him”. I think I’ve successfully blocked out most of the horror stories. Our state was hit hard early… Refrigerator trucks packed with bodies at local hospitals. For 6 months, there were two types of callers. Panicked or pissed off. At least 5 times a day someone would ask me “Are you going to speak to the governor tonight?”. Yes, right after his press conference, he comes to my apartment to discuss my call notes from the day.

I was glad to be working all through Covid, but holy shit were those a rough few months.


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