As of today, 6.8 million cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S., according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. In addition, just shy of 200,000 Americans have died from the disease since the first case was reported in this country in January. The number of cases has declined or stabilized in some states, while they continue to increase in others.
But, through it all, the American trucking industry has kept freight moving and drivers have had to contend with the prospect of being exposed to COVID-19 and also taking sometimes extraordinary steps to protect themselves. And, it’s important that truckers continue to wear personal protective equipment, observe social distancing guidelines, and take other steps to protect themselves.
Research by a former trucker turned university professor illustrates that trucker drivers remain at considerable risk of contracting the disease. Dr. Michael Lemke, an assistant professor of health and behavioral science at the University of Houston, says many truckers are at risk because of existing medical conditions, their age, and the sedentary nature of their jobs. In addition, Lemke says because truckers travel as much as they do, they are at risk of spreading the disease.