Suburban Truck Driver Describes Challenges During Coronavirus Pandemic

The U.S. economy depends on trucks to keep stores stocked with food and other supplies. But a long haul truck driver from suburban Chicago said the coronavirus is making things more difficult on the road. Bob Stanton just returned to his home in Batavia after three weeks of picking up and delivering goods.  "I finally said 'I need to go home and get a good night's sleep and some hot food,'" Stanton said.

According to Stanton, there are fewer places for truck drivers to pull over and get hot meals since Illinois closed restaurants to dining room customers. "I've gone the last several days on canned food and MREs out of the truck because oh, by the way, you can't drive a semi-truck through the drive-thru window," Stanton said. The Batavia resident also said there are fewer places for truck drivers to pull over and rest. Some states even closed welcome centers.

Stanton also said there is a shortage of medical clinics that can accommodate large trucks. "We've only identified 13 places nation-wide that if the driver has potential COVID symptoms, they can go and they are able to do anything," he said. But Stanton stressed that safety is still the key to delivering consumer goods, pandemic or not.

"Drivers have been through this before," Stanton said.  "We will balance safety on the roads to the need to move as much freight as possible."

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