While Long Beach State continues with virtual instruction for the 2020-21 academic year, the on-campus Amazon@the Beach Hub Locker remains open for the community to receive essential items amid the coronavirus pandemic.
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the coronavirus a global crisis in March, CSULB was forced to transition to online learning in the middle of the spring semester.
With no students roaming its halls, the university closed its public facilities, such as the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the University Dining Plaza. The Amazon@the Beach Hub Locker, however, remained open as an essential service, providing resources to its customers during this unprecedented time.
“We definitely did see a spike in [orders of] essentials,” said Monserrat Santana, who graduated from CSULB in 2017 and now works as an Amazon@the Beach employee.“Toilet paper tissue, definitely hand sanitizer and all that.”
Now, six months into the new normal of social distancing regulations, many customers still resort to Amazon for these particular items instead of shopping in person. In both school and work, these regulations and precautionary measures have become part of students’ daily lives.
For workers like Santana, the transition to online instruction has benefited her in her school work as she studies at Long Beach City College, majoring in film studies. Santana now has the benefit of working at her own pace and is enjoying the perk of a lighter homework load.
Santana works with between three and five coworkers at a time at the Amazon Hub Locker, coming in contact with an average of 100 to 200 customers per day.
“It’s easy to maintain social distance because we do have a big workspace and there is a limited amount of us so we’re able to navigate around each other,” said Dada Moore, Amazon@the Beach shift lead.
Moore said that there have not been many changes made to her scheduled work day at the on-campus location aside from additional health regulation policies.
In accordance with COVID-19 regulation policies, signs have been posted around the store asking customers to wear a mask, along with markers on the floor to distinguish six feet of distance and a plexiglass shield installed in front of the cash register. The Amazon staff members now have hand sanitizer and additional masks on-hand to provide to customers at their convenience.
While most of the Amazon@the Beach workers are college students or graduates, some, like Moore, also have their own families at home and have felt the pressure of being an essential worker during the pandemic.
“It has affected me personally,” Moore said. “I do have three kids at home and my kids are currently doing the online distance learning at home for school.”
A new employee at the on-campus Amazon Hub Locker, Moore said the pandemic caused her to shift from working as an Amazon Treasure Truck driver to working from home for three months. She then joined the Beach location as a shift lead.
“This is my first time being outside of the house since it started,” Moore said. “So my life had changed pretty much, pretty significantly.”
The Amazon@the Beach Hub Locker is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is located on campus at 6049 E. Seventh St.