Truck drivers face new challenges amid coronavirus concerns

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) - On the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic are the truckers behind the wheel.

WDBJ7 photo

“We don’t know what each day brings for us,” freight driver Chris Fitzpatrick said.

In a time of uncertainty, truck drivers are stepping up. They are carrying essential products to stock grocery store shelves and get medical supplies to healthcare providers.

“They’re the heroes of what’s going on right now,” Lawrence Companies Freight Operations VP Garrett McSwain said.

Lawrence Companies is a trucking and transportation company based out of Roanoke.

McSwain said their drivers are working hard to help during the pandemic.

"They haven't missed a beat, they know the importance of keeping the supply chain moving. It's been really amazing to watch," McSwain said.

Behind the wheel, truck drivers are seeing changes on their route.

“There’s some moments where you hardly see any vehicles on the road,” Freight Driver Kevin Alexander said.

The drive is less cluttered but there’s a new set of challenges.

"The biggest challenge we've had out here is trying to get food with all the new adjustments everyone has made,” Fitzpatrick said. “A lot of the restaurants are closed and there's only drive through and of course you can't take one of these through a drive-thru so we are having a hard time with people allowing us to walk up."

There is also the fear of getting sick themselves.

“My biggest fear is taking it home to friends and family,” Alexander said.

“I have two elderly parents, and yeah it does, it worries me,” Fitzpatrick said.

But it’s a risk they are taking to keep products moving out on the road.

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