Guadalupe, poultry worker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Guadalupe is a father and grandfather in his late 60’s. He immigrated over 30 years ago from Guerrero, Mexico. Up until recently Guadalupe had been working at one of the largest meat processing plants in Green Bay, WI, but in early April, he was diagnosed with Covid-19 and spent over a month in the hospital. “I spent 14 days on a ventilator, I was losing my life but God gave me another opportunity,” he said, “I didn’t have anyone. It was a long time to think about a lot of things. It was difficult.”
Guadalupe is still not fully recovered and at his last doctor’s visit, it was revealed that he still has pneumonia and is unable to return to work. When asked where he could have been exposed to the virus, he thinks it was at the meat plant. “The company already had workers tested positive for the Covid, but we were all using the same door to come in and out. And back in early April when I got sick we weren’t wearing masks. The company didn’t have a lot of safety measures in place back then, we were all gathering together in the cafeteria.” In fact, when Guadalupe first developed a dry cough, the company didn’t test him for Covid-19 and his workplace would not allow him to take even one day off. “They sent me to the nurse and HR told me to go home on a Friday and come back to work the following Monday knowing that I was sick. I spent an entire month with a cough working, until I couldn’t take it anymore and finally went to the doctor and was tested positive.” His wife and daughter were later diagnosed positive for Covid-19 as well, although they were not hospitalized for their symptoms. Guadalupe was approved for disability leave and continues to recover at home with his wife and family.