The Challenges of a Quarantine Pizza Driver


With the recent events of Covid-19 many food delivery drivers must change their delivering ways to ensure social distancing.

Imagine being a new hire for a delivery driver when the world is going through a pandemic and having a highly contagious virus that most people won’t find out they have it until two weeks after contracting it.

Although many businesses and shops closing down from the Covid-19 pandemic, majority of the fast food restaurants were able to continue with limited menus and new ways to deliver food to its customers through the drive-thru’s. Besides drive-thrus, delivery drivers also have to change their ways in order to keep themselves safe as well as ensuring the food is secured and quarantined too.

Kyle Armstrong is a 20-year-old Kalihi native who had applied to be a delivery driver for a well-known pizza company. After a few days of being hired, Gov. David Ige issued an order which made the entire state to stay at home from Mar. 25 through Apr. 30 due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

While many people were prepared for this order, Armstrong found it nerve racking as this was his first time being a delivery driver ever.

“Before being hired I wasn’t nervous about the job,” Armstrong said. “Although after seeing the stuff on the news and then having to go out there is scary.”

Armstrong went on to say that while going out there, not knowing where the customers have been or whether or not they are quarantining themselves added more fear on top of everything.

“When I’m out there, I don’t know where they have been or what they have been doing or if they are even protecting themselves adds on to the scary-ness,” Armstrong said. “But the job has to be done.”

With many fast food chains switching up its ways to practice self-distancing, the pizza company Armstrong delivers for said that they never really enforced it that much. However, Gov. Ige has since mandated that everyone must wear a face mask or covering while in essential businesses. Ige issued the emergency supplemental proclamation on Apr. 17.

“As far a precautions go, they didn’t really do anything until it was a thing where you had to wear masks outdoors,” Armstrong said. “But prior to that, they just said that we had the option to wear a mask during deliveries if that made us feel more comfortable.”

On top of wearing a mask to work, Armstrong says that he also wears gloves to make him feel more comfortable when delivering.

Another precaution that the pizza establishment made was the option of contactless delivery. When selecting this option, the customer can write delivery instructions on how they’d like their food delivered. The customer also can prepay and tip using any credit or debit card. Once the food is dropped off inside a giant plastic bag, the deliver driver will notify the customer.

When asked about the transition from regular deliveries to contactless, Armstrong’s co-worker, Raymond, said the difference between the two is minimal.

“Honestly it’s almost the same as regular deliveries,” said Raymond, who has been working as a pizza delivery driver for six years. “Just that with some customers, they really want to be 6 feet apart they just say to leave it at the door.”

Although many customers select the contactless delivery, Armstrong said that some customers will still go out to grab the food from him.

“I’ve had a few customers who will ask for contactless delivery but still go out to take the food from me or to hand me cash,” He said. “It was kinda confusing because that defeats the purpose of contactless delivery.”

On the business side of things, Armstrong said that when he had started working, business was slow but after a few weeks, business started to boom. One of the reasonings behind the increase of customers was because of the recent stimulus checks that were sent out.

“Business was pretty slow when I started,” he said. “and then all of a sudden during that week where the stimulus started to get sent out, business was poppin.”

When asked if there were any stories where a customer had coughed while he was delivering, Armstrong had said that he did in-fact have an experience where a customer was poking fun at all the precautions they were taking.

“I was delivering to this guy and he jokingly told me to keep my distance and started to cough,” he said. “I was okay with it, but the situation is kinda serious.”

Armstrong went on to say that he will continue to deliver pizzas while also practicing social distancing.

“In times like these, the only way to cheer people up is to bring them pizza,” he said.