Job diary: I’m an Uber driver in NYC who’s been disinfecting her car after every ride since the pandemic started

Maria Gavilano

Summary List Placement

When the COVID-19 pandemic started I was scared and sad. I kept driving for Uber because I need to provide food and shelter for my 16-year-old son and help my family in Peru, including my 96-year-old mother. I became an Uber driver because I love to help people. So continuing to work was the only option. I owe the bank for the car and have a monthly payment and car insurance. 

I was focused on making sure I could provide for my child and pay my bills. I wasn’t thinking about any danger. I would’ve been sad to think about what could happen. I’ve gotten a few COVID-19 tests, luckily they’ve all been negative.

Before every shift, I get the car washed thoroughly inside and out at a professional car wash

I clean before and after every ride. This isn’t required by Uber but I feel it’s safer for me and my customers. I clean the seats, floor, seatbelts, everything. It takes a little more time, about three minutes, but I want my passengers to feel comfortable. It affects how much I earn because the delay adds up. Uber sent me masks, Clorox wipes, and disinfectant spray. I bought Lysol and hand sanitizer myself, and use a lot of it. 

Passengers want to know if the car is clean and I want them to feel confident that it is clean, so I roll my window down and offer them Clorox wipes before they enter the car. They really appreciate it. 

When they get into my car, I make eye contact as I greet them. The sooner you see a person’s eyes, you can feel them. Often, I can tell they’re afraid, sad, and confused. Sometimes they share they’ve lost their jobs. Lately, people want to talk more, they want to share their feelings. People are more open now.

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I always ask if they want to open the window. Fresh air is very important, it’s good to circulate the air. No one has ever said they’d rather keep the windows up.

After the passenger leaves, I disinfect everything again. Anywhere they’ve touched, I clean.

I always wear a mask and my passengers must wear masks too

One passenger refused to put on her mask (even though as required by Uber) because she didn’t believe in the virus. So, I canceled the ride. I never do that because I’m polite, but I have a child and this virus is serious. If she doesn’t care about her life, she doesn’t care about others. 

I’ve seen lots of creative masks. One lady had an amazing mask that looked like a diamond. A guy had a mask that looked like he was in Star Wars. Some cover their face with a scarf. 

The first time I drove someone to the hospital during the pandemic, I was scared.

I had a customer who couldn’t breathe. I picked up another older customer from the hospital. I don’t know why the hospital let him go. He told me he had coronavirus. I opened the windows when he started …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech

      

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