As you read this, your world has been turned upside down in a few short weeks.
Even if you already worked from home, you probably now have a spouse or partner joining you, plus perhaps a child or two, not to mention some stir-crazy animal members of the family. And you are trying to do all this without a decent haircut or your “real” hair color.
If you are someone who depended on your work in a factory or plant, a theater, or a restaurant for wages, you are undoubtedly in a very frightening new world.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights just how connected we are on this planet. If you wait tables in Milan, Italy, you are out of a job for the foreseeable future. Even if you wait tables in Helena, Montana, a place without a significant spread of the virus or population density, you are still impacted, as there are no longer tourists or as many locals to serve. Similarly, if you work in the hotel business, your job is either non-existent or eerily unbusy.
Do you sell anything that is manufactured? You are probably impacted as plants shut down world-wide to lessen the spread of the deadly virus.
There are still jobs that are deemed essential to the economy and public health (laundromats, supermarkets) or that are performed by people without any real options (food cart sales, landscaping). In short, the workers with the least economic power often have the least power to refuse dangerous work or receive protective gear. They also are often left behind as far as savings, retirement plans, or health insurance.
Nursing home workers are among the most vulnerable to the virus and yet are often poorly paid and trained.
Courts have shut down except for emergencies.
Stores have shuttered.
Restaurants operate only for takeout or delivery (another job where personal contact puts workers at risk of infection).
Truck drivers’ mandatory hour limits and breaks are relaxed.
But what about the future of work in our society?
While I do not envision a world in which there are no factories or plants, where everyone works merely by sitting at a computer fiddling with Zoom teleconferences, it is food for thought to consider how the future of work will look in society once we are finally past this pandemic.
Will workers demand protections from the virus?
Will employers create work-from-home jobs at a greater rate than currently?
Will large office buildings no longer have any tenants?
Work-from-home applications. Technology. Delivery services. That much seems obvious.
Will the government re-think what constitutes a dangerous job?
Will workplace injuries all but disappear?
Will in-person depositions become replaced by video deposition teleconferences? (My two cents is that anything to exhaust, frustrate, and hassle the plaintiffs and their lawyers will always be utilized by defense lawyers, so, unfortunately, this won’t happen anytime soon.)
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but our work world is changing, possibly forever, very quickly.
As in all cases involving injury and potential liability, if you have been hit by a vehicle, immediately get medical treatment, report the crash to police and your own insurance company, and contact a lawyer with expertise in your type of case, such as auto accidents, bicycle accidents, or pedestrians hit by cars.
If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.
Stephen handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.