For These Workers, Coronavirus Brought Little Change

The pandemic and its resulting restrictions have led to unemployment and economic hardship for many around the world. As these photos highlight, some people have remained busy and employed, through good luck, ingenuity and necessity.

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San Pedro Pochutla, Oaxaca, Mexico

Thanks to a large order for a 20-person dinner service, the team at Alfarería El Quetzal, a pottery shop in San Pedro Pochutla, a city on the southern coast of Oaxaca, has remained busy during the pandemic.

Efraín Jarquín Olivera, 19, and two other young men work at the shop with master potter Javier Ruiz as part of the Building the Future Youth Program promoted by the federal Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. The order is the first of its kind for Alfarería El Quetzal, requiring custom molds and designs.

“Since we can come to work, things haven’t changed much with the pandemic, except that things have become more expensive,” says Jarquín.

Mexico has reported 110,026 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as of June 6, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. A total of 13,170 people have died.

Sarai González, GPJ Mexico

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Lusaka, Zambia

John Mumba welds metal on a foot-pedaled hand-washing stand at Heavy Duty Solutions in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. The manufacturing company started making these foot-powered stations to give people a safer way to wash their hands during the coronavirus outbreak.

Zambian officials continue to encourage social distancing and require face masks to be worn in public. Zambia has 1,089 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of June 6 and seven deaths.

Prudence Phiri, GPJ Zambia

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Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Employees of the Parks and Gardens Department of the Guadalajara City Council care for recently planted trees on Mexico Avenue in Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco in western Mexico. The employees maintain the city’s green spaces, work that has been deemed an essential service during the coronavirus outbreak.

Maya Piedra, GPJ Mexico

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Darkhan, Darkhan-Uul Province, Mongolia

Ishgombo Demberelsuren sells food imported from Russia at a stall in Darkhan Market in northern Mongolia’s Darkhan-Uul province. Ishgombo used to run his own bakery, but it closed in 2016. Since then, he has been importing and selling food from Buryatia, a region of Russia that borders Mongolia.

Despite the pandemic, Ishgombo says his earnings have not decreased. He hopes to put those earnings toward rebuilding his bakery.

Mongolia was one of the first countries to take preemptive measures to slow the progression of the coronavirus by closing its borders, schools and other public institutions in late January. As of June 6, Mongolia has 193 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Tegshdelger Batbayar, GPJ Mongolia

Global Press Journal reporters around the world have been covering the impact of the coronavirus in their communities. Their stories are published weekly, alongside this photo story. Click here to see more coronavirus coverage.