My experience with COVID-19, and why workers need a say in workplace safety

My name is Gwyn Davies, I am a compliance investigator for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles and a member of AFSCME Local 4041. I am also a COVID-19 survivor.  

Since the outbreak hit our state in March, I have done my part to stay home for Nevada, wear a face covering and practiced social distancing. But in July 2020, I still caught COVID-19.  

I’m not sure where I was exposed but by mid-July my symptoms were strong. I had a cough, fever, body aches, and just could not breathe. This was not like a cold or the flu, but a very strong respiratory illness that knocked this 6-foot man off his feet for about two weeks. In 14 days, I lost 32 pounds. With medication my health slowly improved, and I got the ok from my doctor to go back to work.  

As state employees, we are fortunate to have COVID administrative leave should we get sick, because this virus does not show any favors or sympathy. However, support from our employer should start before we even get sick to minimize our potential exposure to this virus.  

DMV staff are interacting with the public every day and we have ideas on how to improve safety measures. 

This virus is a serious matter. Our lives, and the lives of the public we serve, are at stake. As state employees on the front lines of rebuilding our economy, we need to have a say in the protocols that are implemented at the worksite level, as well as the policies that are decided agency wide.  

The work we do as DMV staff is important to our communities as we recover from this pandemic. We are willing and ready to be part of the solutions to ensure our workplaces are safe for everyone who comes through our doors.  

We want to hear from you! Please take a moment to fill out this survey about are concerns over workplace safety.