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The Future of Work: What It Means To Be Essential

Jill Pickett
U.S. Air Force photo
Store teller Wynetta Johnson scans a customer's purchases

Essential workers provide much needed services to the general public but at what cost to their physical and mental health?

This hour, we continue our series on The Future of Work by talking to people who never stopped going to their jobs.  

Essential workers aren’t just healthcare professionals. They’re frontline workers like grocery store staff, your local delivery person, and daycare providers. 

Although many essential workers have the benefit of receiving hazard pay, a temporary raise given to those exposed to a greater risk of illness or injury during the pandemic, many companies like Starbucks and Target are winding this down. But the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.

Essential workers of all professions are burning out. Anxiety and post traumatic stress are predicted to be the next public health crisis amongst healthcare professionals. 

We want to hear from you. Are you considered an essential worker?What has life been like for you over the last 3 months? Do you feel like you are experiencing burnout? Call us to share what this time has been like for you.

How do you want your boss or manager to respond to your needs and the needs of your co-workers?


  • Dr. Faiqa Cheema - Infectious Disease Specialist, Hartford Healthcare (@HartfordHealthC)
  • Ace Ricker - Front End Supervisor at Stop And Shop in West Hartford
  • Karen Alter-Reid - Clinical Psychologist, Fairfield County Trauma Response
  • Patrick Gourley - Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Business Analytics at the University of New Haven (@UNewHaven)
Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.
Tess is a senior producer for Connecticut Public news-talk show Where We Live. She enjoys hiking Connecticut's many trails and little peaks, gardening and writing in her seven journals.

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