Trenton Haworth

Trenton Haworth, 19, has continued to work at Charlie's Chicken while finishing up his senior year at Tahlequah High School during a pandemic.

Trenton Haworth, 19, has lived in Tahlequah for about four years.

The Tahlequah High School senior began working at Charlie's Chicken in December 2019, and many aspects of his life have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Haworth said some community members are afraid fast-food workers will spread the virus.

"We wash our hands every five minutes. Every time we handle cash, we use hand sanitizer," he said. "We're doing everything in our power to stop the spread."

Charlie's Chicken has provided workers with the personal equipment and cleaning supplies they have needed.

"We've gone through and cleaned everything and used disinfectant sprays. We have to wear gloves to cook. We go through an abundant amount of gloves. A cook could go through a box in about two hours," said Haworth. "We go through a pump bottle of hand sanitizer in a day."

As far as Haworth has seen, there has not been a shortage of any inventory.

"I'm in control of all the vegetable sides, and I'm being trained to be an up-front cashier. I also do dishes," he said. "It's definitely slowed down a lot because of the virus. At first, Sundays were really busy because of church. Now, people aren't coming in as much."

Even with the restaurant lobby closed for a few weeks, Haworth has been able to work the same number of hours he normally does.

That's because some of his co-workers left for better-paying jobs.

"The job has taught me multitasking skills through being a 'veg' and trying to train up front. I'm trying to be a good worker," he said.

The Charlie's Chicken lobby is now open to customers.

"We only open the lobby to about five tables to maintain distancing," said Haworth. "People have to understand that we're all in this together. We are doing everything to be safe, while providing for people who can't cook for themselves. I hope they give us their support."

Haworth lives in a house full of people, so he has taken extra precautions after work - including washing up and spraying down everything with disinfectant.

"I try to maintain safety at work and at home, and stay in safe and clean environments," he said.

Before the coronavirus hit, Haworth used to work out at Markoma Gym often.

"I used to play basketball a lot, and I play video games," he said. "I'm focusing on graduating, and I'm trying to get my first car."

After graduating, Haworth plans to attend Indian Capital Technology Center to study information technology.

"I hope everyone stays safe out there," said Haworth.

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