Slideshow: Essential Vermont Workers Getting Stuff Done | Off Message

Slideshow: Essential Vermont Workers Getting Stuff Done


As a photojournalist, my job is to get face-to-face with people to capture their images. During the pandemic, as public places are closed and people are sheltered at home, it's difficult to tell visual stories.

I'm not allowed into some places.  When I am, I can't get close to anyone.

In recent weeks, I started photographing some of the people who are still doing essential work — medical staffers, journalists, volunteers — wherever I could. I do my job in a mask and gloves, getting close to people while maintaining appropriate distance. 

I was lucky enough to spend time in several workplaces. At Feeding Chittenden, I photographed volunteers as they prepared meals for vulnerable people who are being quarantined at home and in hotels.

I toured a COVID-19 patient overflow site at the University of Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium. The basketball courts where I normally photograph games had been turned into a makeshift hospital with wall-to-wall beds and a negative-pressure room constructed to contain the spatter of bodily fluids during procedures such as intubations. To date, patients have not been treated there.

I walked a route through empty streets in Burlington's Old North End with a U.S. Postal Service carrier whom Eva Sollberger interviewed for this week's Stuck in Vermont episode on essential workers.

Here's a look at some of those people. How is COVID-19 affecting your life? I'd like to capture your story in photos. Contact or @jamesbuck on Twitter