On his delivery route through Orange County, California, Joseph Alvarado made 153 stops one day last week for Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), touching the inside and outside of his van, more than 225 packages, and dozens of customers’ doors and gates.
In a global coronavirus pandemic that has infected about 420,000 people and killed nearly 19,000, delivery drivers like Alvarado have become as essential as first responders, providing food and other basics for millions of people who are isolating themselves under government stay-home directives. But unlike traditional emergency workers, today’s delivery drivers typically have little or no health insurance, sick pay or job security – and many say they lack even the basics needed to stay safe on the job.
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