Remembering the working poor in the time of Coronavirus

By Daniel Darling

They have been the invisible people as I’ve moved around in my career: The people who have assembled and shipped my laptops, the factory workers who print, box, and ship my books, the Uber drivers who take me to meetings and speaking engagements, the flight attendants and baggage carriers who get me to my destinations, the waiters and waitresses, hotel workers who make my travel comfortable and seamless, the baristas who fill my cup every time I text someone and say: “Want to grab coffee?”

For all of my career — over 20 years — I’ve had a job in the information economy at a time when this kind of work is ascendant. This means I’m writing on keypads, staring into screens, posting on social media, speaking or preaching before crowds. I’m paid for words and content. So this strange and terrifying new season of social distancing has slightly disrupted my life with a new normal of working from home, less interaction with colleagues and friends (tough for an extreme extrovert), and cancelled speaking engagements. But for the most part, my life has not been made that much more uncomfortable. I could work from home for the foreseeable future with little disruption.

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