SHS Student Taking Precautions Without Fear


Photo contributed by Vanessa Mares

Victoria Juarez, Editorial Editor

Zoom is filled with lots of black boxes, some of whom are students working part time jobs. Among these many students is Vanessa Mares, a 17 year old senior at Selma High School. Mares has been working at Cattlemen’s for about four months since the start of school. 

“I started applying during the summer because we were stuck home because of COVID-19,” she says. “When I finally got the call back school started so I just went along with it.”

According to Mares, Cattlemen’s policy allows for a 50 percent capacity and everyone inside has to wear a mask. As a hostess, she sees the customers first. The hosts must deal with a lot of people who are really impatient and don’t cooperate with the restaurant’s policies.

“I can’t seat them unless they wear a mask, so I have to reason with them,” says Mares. “If it gets really bad I have to get a manager.” 

Vanessa feels pretty safe going to work, since people are required to wear masks and she, along with her co-workers, get their temperature taken before coming in. Along with the taking of their temperatures and mandatory masks, there are also hand sanitizers in every corner. 

Mares has been working alongside many people for some time now. Between managers, co-workers, and customers, she has grown used to the virus, but with the rise of cases in the valley, there are less people coming in to eat. 

“There are those who take precautions and those who don’t but I haven’t seen anyone get sick the whole time I’ve been working here,” she says. 

Because of this, there is not yet a protocol for what to do if one of the workers gets sick, which is an issue many essential workers face. The biggest factor is testing and hospitalization. Would the company you work for pay for your test and/or hospitalization? 

Since Mares has so much contact with the outside world, there might be a bigger risk for the spread of Covid if she were to go back to school compared to someone who stays home and limits their contact with people. It is not just Vanessa that is facing this dilemma, it is all part time workers looking to go back to school, especially those who work jobs that are far more hands-on. 

Being a part time worker in high school is definitely not unheard of. What is unheard of is being a teenage worker during a global pandemic. 

“I think living through this will help me because I know how to take all the necessary precautions,” says Mares. “I just feel like we shouldn’t live with that fear.”

Precautious or not, the virus is very real and essential workers are risking their health. Yet Mares has found that one should take precautions without the fear.