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Are Uber and Lyft Enabling or Hindering Covid-19 Efforts?

Posted by: Lilly Kenyon Mar 23, 2020
Updated Mar 23, 2020

4 comments

uber and lyft during covid 19 pandemic

Officials have been warning people around the world about the spread of Coronavirus and urging people to stay inside and social distance. A large number of the workforce is now working remotely and strict measures on social gatherings have been put in place. People around the world are frantically rushing to do their best to avoid the virus and stay healthy, all while soluting the nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, etc who put themselves on the front line. However, there is another category of workers who are being entirely overlooked. Gig workers. They’re always on call, interacting with multiple people daily, and there is very little to protect them from infection. 

Forums for rideshare drivers have seen a huge increase in discussions the past several weeks as Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the world. Drivers are worried about how to keep their cars sanitized, about getting the virus, and the fear that they may be spreading the virus. Yet, as driving is the sole income source for many people, they feel they cannot stop working now and need the income more than ever. Still, with the Coronavirus soaring and people staying home more and more, we will likely see a decrease in drivers, perhaps even to the point of having a shortage. The world has come to depend on these gig-workers to get us to and from all the places we need to be. Without them, life would be more difficult. The shortage of drivers will mean higher profits for the drivers who do continue to work in the face of the Coronavirus threat but at what cost? There is more concern over the lack of options for rideshare drivers. Many rely on this gig economy to pay their rent and put food in their cupboards. If the choice is to pay rent or risk illness, a portion of drivers will choose to continue working to provide for their families.

Drivers are experiencing feelings of being forgotten and left behind by the government and the company’s they “work” for. There has been a lack of communication from the rideshare companies about support and resources available to drivers throughout this outbreak. Instead drivers are having to lean on each other for advice and suggestions on how to stay safe.

Instead of offering help to their drivers, Uber has suspended accounts “out of an abundance of caution.” In Mexico City, Uber suspended 240 user accounts who were suspected to be possible carriers of Coronavirus. One driver was suspended in London after driving a Coronavirus patient to the hospital. Though this strategy prevents spreading the virus, it does nothing to protect drivers or passengers from contracting it in the first place. Uber is not on the offensive, they are creating a simple solution once the problem has already arrived. Uber drivers feel like the company doesn’t care about their health and safety, which impacts the health and safety of those they drive. 

What are your thoughts? Stay safe out there whether you are driving or riding!

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Comments

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    rosebud0902
    Driver
     2 months ago

    Uber has offered up to 2 weeks financial assistance during this pandemic However when I applied for this financial assistance, I was denied due to "pre-existing conditions".. I am 72 years old and do have some health problems. However, this has not affected my driving for Uber ability. One of Uber's requirements for financial is "#2. You are placed on individual quarantine by a public health authority. The Governor (Philip Murphy) of the State of New Jersey, has placed everyone in the state on a quarantine. It is against the law, in the State of New Jersey, to be in contact with other individuals - unless there is a 6 ft. distance. In any car, there is no 6 ft. distance, thus placing drivers at risk of contracting COVID-19, #3. "You are personally asked by a public health authority (Governor) or licensed medical provider (my personal physician) to self-isolate due to your risk of spreading COVID-19" As a driver, we have no idea if whoever is getting in our car has any symp...

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    Uber has offered up to 2 weeks financial assistance during this pandemic However when I applied for this financial assistance, I was denied due to "pre-existing conditions".. I am 72 years old and do have some health problems. However, this has not affected my driving for Uber ability. One of Uber's requirements for financial is "#2. You are placed on individual quarantine by a public health authority. The Governor (Philip Murphy) of the State of New Jersey, has placed everyone in the state on a quarantine. It is against the law, in the State of New Jersey, to be in contact with other individuals - unless there is a 6 ft. distance. In any car, there is no 6 ft. distance, thus placing drivers at risk of contracting COVID-19, #3. "You are personally asked by a public health authority (Governor) or licensed medical provider (my personal physician) to self-isolate due to your risk of spreading COVID-19" As a driver, we have no idea if whoever is getting in our car has any symptoms -- thereby infecting us/me and we, therefore, risk spreading COVID-19. ***The State of New Jersey has been placed on quarantine by the Governor. If there are UBER drivers out there, they are breaking the law! And UBER is breaking the law by providing riders! "If you are feeling sick, the most important thing you can do...is to stay home..." That is, according to UBER, stay home and get nothing! Follow the law of your state, and get nothing -- no financial assistance. I drive "because I need the money". [email protected] However, when I applied for financial assistance, I was denied, due to pre-existing conditions (??? 72 years old) -- not actually diagnosed with COVID-19. But my risk of contracting COVID-19, and thereby spreading it, is not a valid reason for getting UBER's 14 day financial assistance. Seems UBER is playing the propaganda field -- advertise they are providing assistance, but denying it when applying for said financial assistance! My name is Constance Eberhardt and I have been driving for UBER since January 2019. I have very high ratings: 4.93 ratings; 89% acceptance rate (lately as high as 92%); and 3% cancellation rate. I have received numerous compliments for "excellent service" "great conversation" "above and beyond" "neat and tidy"etc.

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    teamtweaks
    Rider
     2 months ago

    Uber in india has lost 80 percentage of their business, followed by Uber. This same is happening for any small players have app like uber

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    ridestrong
    Driver
     2 months ago

    Unfortunately, Constance is feeling the pain of the uncompromising propaganda machine that is Uber. I feel your pain Constance and sincerely wish you get justice as you are a gentleman who deserves to be treated with dignity.

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    Btwothab
    Driver
     1 month ago

    I live in a small tourist attraction town. Of course with the current pandemic it is not busy here. I have been able to make something every day for food at least. Doing a few deliveries after being logged on for 10 hours, waiting. recently I have mainly been giving one individual a ride who cannot drive, lives alone, and needs a safe ride as well. So, we spoke about it and I agreed that he could call me and I would then log onto uber for him to request a ride. Most of the time he gets me as I am the only one online. But, several times he would get back in my car and have much difficulty getting me, or I have to decline other requests. Since the rider is already in my vehicle. now this affects my acceptance rating. I called uber and they were of no help at all. I am simply trying to work as safely as possible. I have given a few rides here and there and everytime someone is drunk wants to sit in front seat and shake my hand, or give me a hug. So, I just want to make a living and p...

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    I live in a small tourist attraction town. Of course with the current pandemic it is not busy here. I have been able to make something every day for food at least. Doing a few deliveries after being logged on for 10 hours, waiting. recently I have mainly been giving one individual a ride who cannot drive, lives alone, and needs a safe ride as well. So, we spoke about it and I agreed that he could call me and I would then log onto uber for him to request a ride. Most of the time he gets me as I am the only one online. But, several times he would get back in my car and have much difficulty getting me, or I have to decline other requests. Since the rider is already in my vehicle. now this affects my acceptance rating. I called uber and they were of no help at all. I am simply trying to work as safely as possible. I have given a few rides here and there and everytime someone is drunk wants to sit in front seat and shake my hand, or give me a hug. So, I just want to make a living and provide a needed service to someone who is comfortable with me. Knowing I have not had several riders in my car through out the day. All I want was some forgiveness on my acceptance rating. Uber has really done nothing for its drivers. Just some forgiveness on this acceptance rating when you already have the rider in your car!

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