With all the excitement around restaurants reopening, waitresses had to adjust quickly to the new protocols being implemented. As protective masks are becoming standard uniform for many restaurant workers, Darcey Keener’s health was put in jeopardy.Keener felt she had no choice but to quit her job, as the requirement doesn’t appear that it will be lifted soon. Robyn Walensky spoke with Keener on “Wake Up Memphis” Wednesday morning about what led up to her quitting.
Keener included that she is a lifelong smoker, but she also walks regularly and is used to this level of exercise during her shift. Wearing the mask all day was causing her to feel a variety of unusual symptoms.
“I never felt like a smoker until I put that mask on for two weeks,” she said.
Symptoms included excessive sweating, shortness of breath, disorientation and dizziness.“It’s a gradual progression of symptoms,” the waitress added.
After being seen by her doctor and ultimately quitting her job, Keener is on an inhaler every four hours. She said she notices a difference if she skips the treatment.
“Ultimately, we need to put our health first,” she said.When it comes to thinking about her future, the Memphis waitress said she is unsure what it holds for her and that “that is the scariest part right now.” Despite her difficulties, she doesn’t blame the restaurant for following the rules that are required by law.
“There has to be a happy medium, we have to come to an agreement in the middle,” Keener said about the mask requirements.