One industry exempt from California’s shelter in place order? Agriculture. Deemed an “essential service,” many counties have significant agricultural processing plants that are still working during coronavirus shutdowns.

Concerns over farmworkers’ livelihoods and social safety nets have grown during this time. Farmworkers are already one of California’s “most marginalized populations,” and they are being asked to work while many shelter in place.

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An article in the Ventura County Star described new rules on farms, where workers follow social distancing protocols. Many farms in the county have adopted precautions to keep people safe at work.

Freddy Urbano, a farmworker at Underwood Family Farms, told the Ventura County star that he’s worried about coronavirus, ” The worry is about all the people in the house, because if one person even not in my family got sick it could infect us.”

While farms can take steps to protect workers while they’re on the job, they cannot help with social distancing and other rules at home. Many farmworkers experience over crowded housing conditions, with three to four families living in single-family homes.

In an opinion article by Antonio De Loera-Brust, he argues that farmworkers must receive protection from the government, both medical and labor provisions. Many farmworkers struggle with poverty and lack of healthcare. He argues that farmworkers are crucial to the food supply we depend on and should have paths to citizenship, as well as labor protections.

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“Our food supply is critical, and agriculture and agricultural workers are a critical component of that. We are looking at the work that is being done by farmers, farmworkers, transportation and packinghouses as essential functions,” said Ventura County agricultural commissioner Ed Williams. He’s working with farms and advocacy groups to keep protections for workers strong during uncertain times.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

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Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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