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A Flight Attendant Shares Her Thoughts About Returning To Work

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

As states reopen, many people are now returning to work. Among them, a single mother who is apprehensive about what's ahead for her.

LYNN CHUTE: My name is Lynn Chute. I live just outside of Minneapolis. And I work as a flight attendant for the airlines.

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CHUTE: I had an experience with COVID on my aircraft. I was working. And three days later, I got a phone call from my in-flight supervisor letting me know that I had a positive exposure to COVID. And once I got off that phone, I was directed to call a medical care group for the airline to open up a medical case to follow my path and trajectory.

And then once I hung up with them, I realized what a dire circumstance working as an essential worker can be for some people. It made me feel a little bit of dread and a lot of anxiousness about what I'm bringing home to my family. I remember sitting on the couch and thinking, oh, my gosh. I need to get my daughter out of here. I live in a two-bedroom apartment with my daughter. As I sat and mulled it over, I realized she's been exposed to me already.

When the pandemic started, our airline had asked for employees to take a leave of absence in order to preserve cash for the airlines so that they could survive. Very shortly, I actually got an email, and I was recalled back to service. I start back to work on June 1.

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CHUTE: I am excited to get back to work. I do have a lot of apprehension about going back to work with the amount of people that I will be exposed to. When I took my position, I thought that I was safe. I've come to realize nothing is safe, and you should always have a plan B, C or D in your back pocket.

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CHANG: That is flight attendant Lynn Chute. She is an essential worker who returns to the skies on Monday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.