For Truckers, Early Pandemic Was Defined By Uncertainty And Chaos – Virus Update For Mar. 26
The early days of the pandemic were challenging for truck drivers. As other workers were told to stay home, truckers kept going, delivering food, clothing and cleaning supplies for stores and hospitals throughout the country. On the road for days or weeks at a time, many were fearful of bringing the virus back to their families, and the temporary closures of rest stops left them uncertain whether they’d find a safe place to use the bathroom or sleep.
Meanwhile, priority access for the vaccine never came, and the hundreds of thousands of truckers of Punjabi Sikh descent—who control as much as 40 percent of California’s trucking industry, according to the North American Punjabi Trucking Association—feel left behind by public health agencies that haven’t provided them with up-to-date public health information in their native language of Punjabi.
This week’s 2-part COVID update shares the experiences of truckers early on in the pandemic, as well as some specific concerns from Punjabi Sikh truckers. Listen to the audio for a feature story from Kerry Klein as well as a follow-up interview featuring excerpts of discussions with truck owner-operators Sunny Grewal and Jaspreet Singha of Fresno and trucker Lovepreet Singh of Bakersfield.
Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):
As of March 25:
- 4,476 total deaths out of 322,682 total cases
- 298 people hospitalized and 63 in ICUs
- 226 deaths reported in the last week
- 279 average cases reported daily in last week
- 927,250 vaccine doses administered to date
As of 1 week previous, March 18:
- 4,250 total deaths out of 320,695 total cases
- 354 people hospitalized and 72 in ICUs
- 95 deaths reported in the last week
- 364 average cases reported daily in last week
- 808,834 vaccine doses administered to date
As of 4 weeks previous, February 25:
- 3,798 total deaths out of 311,856 total cases
- 588 people hospitalized and 136 in ICUs
- 200 deaths reported in the last week
- 532 average cases reported daily in last week
- 453,673 vaccine doses administered to date
You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.