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30 April 2020updated 03 Aug 2021 4:47am

In pictures: going to work in a pandemic

Highlights from a series of photographs by Agence France-Presse for International Workers' Day (Friday 1 May), which show how workers from around the world are coping amid coronavirus. 

By Gerry Brakus


Gregory Stark, 54, laundry shop employee in Miami, United States. Stark feels “blessed” for having a job and says he feels obliged to work because not everybody has a washing machine at home. He wears a facemask and gloves all day as he helps customers carry and sort their clothes. Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA


Armando Garcia, 39, dog walker, Mexico City. Garcia believes his work helps alleviate the stress of dogs whose owners are having to quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by PEDRO PARDO


Rize Jacobs, 63, teacher, Johannesburg, South Africa. Jacobs has continued working because she worries that without school meals, some children in her area will not have enough to eat. Photo by MICHELE SPATARI


Rajeesh Babu, 45, police inspector, Chennai, India. Babu wears a helmet designed to look like the coronavirus to remind people to maintain social distancing. Photo by ARUN SANKAR


Desiria Wagner, 31, mortuary service agent, Mulhouse, France. Work has changed during the Covid-19 pandemic for Wagner, as bodies are not prepared before burial and there are no family gatherings. Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON

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Ramon Montesinos Roman, shepherd, Ronda, Spain. Roman’s only protective measure against Covid-19, he jokes, is his stick. He is not in contact with other people so he doesn’t use a face mask. Photo by JORGE GUERRERO

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Karem Khalafallah, 21, delivery man, Cairo, Egypt. Khalafallah, who delivers fresh vegetables to homes, says he wants to work in order to save money to be able to get married in the near future, and to help his family. Photo by KHALED DESOUKI


Nassiba Belgherbi, 55, Algiers, Algeria. Belgherbi uses masks, gloves and hand gel in addition to employing barriers on the checkout counter. Belgherbi says working is “a duty that we exercise with pride because we have taken an oath to always be of service to the population”. Photo by RYAD KRAMDI


Dave Stanton, 57, Hartley Wintney, England. Stanton says he is keeping his butcher’s shop open because of “a duty to serve Joe Public!” Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS


Alexis Pereira, cemetery worker, Guayaquil, Ecuador. Photo by JOSE SANCHEZ


Olga Sokolova, veterinary surgeon, Moscow, Russia. Photo by YURI KADOBNOV


Lalita Kesharwani, 41, vegetable vendor, Mumbai, India. Lalita and her husband have been selling vegetables for 22 years. Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE


Maria da Paz Pereira, 51, head primate keeper, Lisbon Zoo, Portugal. Pereira does not feel she and her co-workers are taking a risk as they take protective measures against infection from or to the animals. Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA


 Kunio Hayakawa, 72, fishmonger, Tokyo, Japan. Kunio decided to keep his shop open because he wanted to do “everything for the Shinagawa people”. Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU


Javorka Lazic, 35, baker, Mladenovac, Serbia. Lazic always has protective equipment with her and gets her face mask and gloves from the owner of the bakery where she works. Photo by VLADIMIR ZIVOJINOVIC


Ika Sri Purnamaningsih, 41, obstetrician-gynaecologist, Jakarta, Indonesia. Purnamaningsih believes, though a risk, it is her obligation and responsibility to keep taking care of patients, but she is afraid she might get infected and carry the virus home. Photo by ADEK BERRY