HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – Grocery store workers are on the frontlines every day during the coronavirus pandemic. Nate Strong is one of them. In a matter of days, he was forced to leave school, his football team – and is now an essential worker keeping shoppers safe.
“It was so quick, so fast paced,” Strong said.
He works most mornings at Aldi in Huber Heights. His job is to stock the shelves in the morning and sanitize carts during the day.
“I’m one of five or six seasonal employees that were hired on basically just to keep up with sanitation of the store, make sure we’re very clean,” he said.
Strong had to move out of his grandparents’ home as a precaution due to their age. Both are over 80 and are now living alone.
“Whenever they need groceries and things, I still pick them up and drop them off during my break or throughout the day but it’s been, you know, difficult,” Strong said.
His father has underlying health issues so he can’t live with his parents either. That’s why he’s now living with his sister, Courtney Shrout.
She is a substitute teacher, now laid off, and providing child care for essential workers.
“I’m just trying to help people out, the ones that can’t find childcare otherwise because they have to show up for work,” said Shrout.
Her husband is an essential worker. He travels to Indianapolis daily to help make sure restaurants have necessary supplies.
With more time at home, she’s fostering puppies.
“We have these two little guys here so we’re trying to make the best of it and help others, help save the dogs since the shelters are closed,” Shrout said.
The family is close-knit. Most of them live in Huber Heights. The time apart is difficult on all of them.
“It’s really helped me just appreciate slowing down time, enjoying time with my family, sitting down for family dinners with my immediate family,” she said.
Shrout is staying home as often as possible but her brother can’t. If you have the choice, he says to stay home for the sake of our most vulnerable.
“Those people are the ones that need you to stay inside, that need you to do your part in keeping everyone safe – not just yourselves,” Strong said.