A number of gas stations have been petitioning Governor Murphy to allow self-service at the pumps. While I'm in support of NJ finally switching to self-serve in general, I just don't think this is the time to do it.

I understand that employees at gas stations are worried about dealing with customers, but it's just an unfortunate reality that those people are now considered "essential". Put them in the same spot as employees of grocery stores, hardware stores, liquor stores, and any other essential business. Wear masks, wear gloves, keep hand sanitizer nearby, and just do what you can to keep yourself safe. Last time I got gas, the employee even wiped down my card when it was handed back to me.

The issue, to me, would be exponentially worse if every driver was pumping their own gas. When I pull into Wawa, I know that there are only a handful of employees that work the pumps. If instead there are dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of other drivers touching the pump, the keypad, and anything else around, that just increases the odds of infection.

Look obviously I'm not an infectious disease expert, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But the way I see it, the only connection between myself and a gas station attendant is passing my card. If I see that person being safe, I'm much more relaxed than having to pump my own gas while worrying about whether or not the last person to use the pump covered their mouth when they sneezed or felt like licking the pump handle to be a troll.

I know this can all just come back to me by using sanitizer every time regardless, but having more hands on a surface just seems like a bad idea.

And on top of all of that...one of the loudest arguments when people suggest self-service gas stations is the loss of jobs for thousands of gas station employees. With the state unemployment levels at record highs, why are we trying to add to those numbers? If an attendant wants to quit for their own safety, that's their decision. If we force all those people out of work, it's only going to make things worse in the longer run.

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