Amid the spread of COVID-19 at meatpacking plants, tension has emerged between businessmen and the government over the closure of meat plants, both in the name of public safety as well as driving up meat prices. Whatever one may or may not believe, the risk of contracting the disease is very real. According to CNBC, a recent study from the CDC found that 3% of all meatpacking workers have contracted the virus.
About 3% of workers in over 100 meat processing plants have tested positive for the coronavirus as conditions allow the virus to spread rapidly and low-wage workers are incentivized to continue going to work, a new study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
More infected workers were found in plants that tested more broadly for the virus, the CDC researchers said, warning that testing limitations could mean that the count is low. The researchers aggregated data from 115 meat and poultry processing plants across 19 states between April 9 and April 27.
“As part of the national COVID-19 response, the recognized risk to meat and poultry facility operation requires prompt action to decrease risks to workers, preserve facility function, and maintain the food supply,” the researchers said.
Covid-19 has spread more rapidly in meat processing plants than in other settings because the nature of the job. On production lines, it is difficult to separate workers by 6 feet or more, the researchers said.
The physical toll of the work being done inside the plants makes it difficult for workers to wear masks, the researchers said, adding that some of the surveyed plants have struggled to implement heightened disinfecting protocols. (source)
Would you want somebody with this illness handling your food? It would be a terrible idea to suggest this.
As such, would you want to play Russian routlette with a gun where 3% of the chambers were loaded? that would also be insane. It is a gamble with death.
So if 3% of all workers are infected, does it not seem to be a good idea to shut down, wait for the illness to pass, and then resume economic activity? Profits are important but people are always more important. This is not just the people who work in the facilities, but the customers who will handle, purchase, and consume the products, as they will also be exposed to potential illness.
The economic problems existed before the virus. The virus only is exposing what was already there. It is too late to fix what happened, but rather it is more important to deal with the situation as it is, which means looking out for the public safety of all.