Giving Compass' Take:

• AlJazeera examines the impact of COVID-19 on America's essential workers as they risk their health and safety. 

• How can donors help ensure essential workers' safety and health? 

• Read more about protecting and insuring essential workers during the pandemic. 

As COVID-19 surged in the United States and only those deemed "essential workers" were asked to go to work, the pandemic made clear that the workers most critical to American life are disproportionately people of colour, and the country's lowest-paid.

Through video diaries and interviews shared over the course of several months, four of these workers shared their experiences of the pandemic in a country that offers little in the way of a safety net for its most vulnerable workers.

Two gig economy workers struggle to protect themselves from the virus and earn enough to sustain their families. An Amazon worker organises in his workplace to demand more from the company, and a first responder fights to save lives amid wrenching death tolls.

For some companies, the coronavirus has meant booming business - like Shipt, a Target-owned service where independent contractors shop for customers who do not want to or are unable to go to the store. Target's same-day services, which include Shipt, grew 278 percent during the first quarter of 2020.

But gig workers at Shipt organised a protest in April to call for hazard pay and safety protections. Ashley, a San Antonio mother who shops with Shipt, called the protective equipment eventually provided by the company "a joke". Shipt declined our request for an interview and directed us to two Shipt web pages, accessible here and here.

Just as coronavirus cases began to slow, hundreds of thousands of Americans left their homes and flooded the streets in a wave of civic actions demanding an end to police violence and racism. Fault Lines follows four Americans as they keep working through the spread of a novel virus, in an uncertain and changing country.

Read the full article about America's essential workers at AlJazeera.