Should Gig Workers get the COVID 19 vaccine faster ?

According to statements from Uber and DoorDash, they have both asked the federal government to consider their gig workers as “essential” and therefore getting early access to the vaccine. Both companies state that their independent contractors have been a lifeline to their communities, providing transportation for health-care workers and delivering food to people socially distancing at home.

Do you agree? Maybe more importantly; are you planning on getting the vaccine when you are offered it? I know I will get mine when I get offered, but I have not made up my mind on whether gig workers should be considered eligible before others. But I can certainly follow their reasoning behind the requests.

The next question I ask myself is, “how soon after I get the vaccine will I begin driving passengers again?” I really miss it. I tried food delivery a few times, but that is not for me. I crave the interaction. I really miss the conversations – and, of course, the midnight rush!

When I start thinking about driving again, I can’t help myself thinking about how much has changed. What will be the new normal? That is a question for a different blog. For now, I know I likely won't drive till we can drive without the mask - and that is not because I don’t believe in masking; I just can’t drive with it.

What do you think?

Jesper

Prior to COVID-19 I had been an Uber Driver for 4 Years. A Weekend Warrior, almost 5000 rides, and I loved it. Then BOOM the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order was issued. My day job had me working from home. I stopped driving for the safety of my family and to make sure I stayed healthy for my day job. Being a managing partner of a small company in Grand Rapids, other people's jobs depend on my ability to do mine

Now I haven’t driven in over 5 months and I miss it. I miss getting people home safe, the sense of helping out. I miss the conversations (yes even when the riders were drunk). My driving is my therapy, my opportunity to get out and talk to other people! I really miss it. With COVID-19 I have no way of knowing when I will drive again or even IF I will drive again.

Jason and I have been talking about this in the last few weeks, which started when he began driving again (so far only food delivery). He is back out there! I envy him, but I also have little interest in food delivery. Sure the money would be nice, but that was never the main reason I drove. The main reason I drove was to help people, the fun and games and the adrenaline rush. Even after Uber changed the game the rush was still there, just different. If I am honest with myself, I have no clue as to whether or not I will be driving again - maybe after a vaccine is here. Sure, I can wear a mask, and I really do not mind them, but I wear glasses so my mask fogs up really easy, which is annoying. I also think masks can change people’s attitudes for the worse which also worries me a little. If that’s the case then I would rather not drive at all.

I have also found that I really like having my weekend back. I am spending more time with my family now and am actually getting things done around the house. When I was driving I was a zombie during the day but also feeling like I could not wait to get back out there; I guess I was hooked on driving... I still miss it!

As for the extra money Ubering was bringing home, I have a few other ideas up my sleeve. I am convinced that I can replace that income soon.

I don’t know if I will drive again, but If I don’t, I will sure miss it.

Jesper

The COVID-19 global pandemic has been a present reality for more than six months, and I am really missing my routine of driving passengers on the various rideshare platforms. I miss the late nights, the rush of the surge time, and the crazy riders. In fact, I miss the riders most.

Driving in Grand Rapids is mostly a chill experience. In 3,100+ rides over the course of the last 5+ years, I’ve only had a handful of bad experiences. Interacting and enjoying the ride with passengers is truly what makes this job worth it.

Since April 2020, I have not taken any passengers. I have only done food delivery 4 times, just to say that I experienced it. I drove Uber Eats a few times before Covid, but I was never really all in. Now I understand why.

Food delivery is not for me - it is boring. I have no interest in delivering food to people, even when the tips are ok. Several of our regular drivers love it. They say they really enjoy food delivery, and they enjoy that the wear and tear on their vehicles is much less, and their car stays cleaner.

And, unlike the typical drunk frat boy, the food doesn’t talk back!

But that is the part I miss the most. I knew all along that I enjoyed sharing space with my passengers, but the pandemic has really helped me solidify this. For me, gig work was always about the people first. Sure, the extra cash is always nice, but I was attracted more to helping people get home safe, and listening to their stories along the way.

Food delivery is boring, and I don’t care for it. I will not be doing it again.

I don’t know when I will be driving passengers on Uber again, but clearly it won't be while COVID-19 is still going on.

And I am sure, by the time this pandemic blows over, Uber will have changed… Morphed into some other thing. I hope I will still be able to get back into the car and drive passengers around. I will probably look into reactivating Lyft, too! Maybe I will even drive using a new vehicle - who knows. What I do know is that food delivery is once and for all not for me.

How about you? Are you delivering food during the pandemic? Comment below and let us know!

Jesper