Taylor waitress wary of safety amid COVID-19 reopenings

Bars and restaurants have gotten the green light from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to welcome back dine-in customers starting June 8. 

But while many establishments have been waiting months for this moment, some employees aren't sure they're ready to go back. 

Tammy Kapuscinski, for example, has been a waitress for 18 of the 23 years that Leon's Family Dining has been operating on Telegraph in Taylor. But Tammy, who's been off work like many waitresses since mid-March, isn't too keen on returning to work.  

"I am afraid of the coronavirus. I feel like I'm walking into maybe death," she told us. And it's a concern of many, despite the requirements for social distancing, the use of PPE and other precautions.

"What kind of precautions can you take when you're interacting with the customers, you're touching cash, you're touching dirty plates clearing the tables, bringing beverages?" she said. 

Karim Alitawi has co-owned Leon's for all of its 23 years in business and he says he wants Tammy and his customers to be safe.

"Everything will be sanitized from the tables to menus, to salt and pepper shakers, bathrooms," he said. "We have to protect ourselves, our staff and our customers."

And Tammy wants to go back to work, but not now.  

"I would feel comfortable going back to work when there's a vaccine for the virus," she said. "Or when it is not killing people, I could consider it then."

"A lot of waitresses are eager and anxious to come back to work," Alitawi said. 

While Tammy has plenty of legitimate concerns, no one is going to force her to go back to work.

"For $3.50 an hour on average, is it worth it? What do you think?" she asked.