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Gig work used to be a recession-proof safety net. Not anymore – Source

By Lindsey D. Cameron and Alex Rosenblatlong Read

In early March, Din, an Uber driver in Baltimore, took a passenger home who had a violent cough. Din (all names in this article are pseudonyms) came down with COVID-19 a few days later.

“My throat became all sore,” he says. “I had a fever, sweating—I couldn’t sleep. I stayed in the house for two weeks, even without stepping outside. Then I put my mask [on] and then went out, bought some food, came back again, stayed for two weeks.”

Unable to work for two months, Din slowly sold all his furniture and fell behind on rent. He tried to return to driving, but on his first day back two riders pulled off their masks midride complaining they were uncomfortable. Scared to say anything to the customers, lest it affect his rating, he decided he was done with ride-hailing. When we talked, he was putting everything he still owned in the back of his Honda Accord. He immigrated from Sierra Leone, and without local family to help, he…

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