When the Coronavirus was first brought to the world’s attention, most people didn’t think much of it. As a naive teenager, it never occurred to me that a virus originating in Wuhan, China would make its way to my home state, let alone the United States. It’s insane how fast and easily this virus spread all across the globe in the matter of only one month. While COVID-19 has taken away my prom, graduation, senior traditions, and much more, people have lost their jobs, homes, and loved ones. The class of 2020 may have had their senior year stripped away from them and no one is ignoring that, but thousands of people are dying and are having to file for unemployment because of this pandemic. For right now, the real concern is for those who will forever be affected by COVID-19 and who may not recover.
Businesses all across the globe now have their employees work from home, have cut their hours significantly, or worst of all, lay them off. My sister worked at Wildflower Bread Company before all of the craziness started and worked nearly 40 hours a week. However, once everything with COVID-19 started, “everyone’s hours got cut in half. The business was so slow and our store was not making enough profit to give everyone the hours they needed. Eventually, management gave us letters of termination so we could all file for unemployment and at least get a little bit of money to pay for bills,” said Anastasia Garcia. The store couldn’t afford to pay its employees anymore, so they had to let go of everyone. My brother, who lives on his own, also worked at Wildflower and was laid off. “I’m lucky I have a lot of money in my savings right now since I’m unemployed. But I can’t imagine what this is like for the people who don’t have any money saved up and have no source of income for months. It’s terrifying just to think about all of the people who are struggling,” said Kristian Garcia. Money goes away very fast when none is being made in return to replace it. This is causing a lot of people to not be able to make their payments on their house or car, and some can’t even buy the essentials for their household. Not only because they can’t afford it, but because nearly all grocery stores are out of the essentials and once the stores do have them, they go in nearly an hour of opening. Grocery stores have been doing an excellent job trying to distribute whatever they have fairly and have been taking extreme precautions when it comes to the safety of their customers and the employees. “We’re working 50+ hour weeks trying to keep our shelves stocked and we’re exhausted, but I’m grateful that I have a job right now that cares so much about my health,” said Safeway grocery manager Sean Duwies. Grocery store employees are taking the brunt of this pandemic, so be sure to thank them for their hard work and for being there to help you and your family in this time of crisis.
COVID-19 has taken a lot from anyone, but what’s important right now is that we fight against it together. If you are not working and are able to, please don’t go out. Don’t risk spreading it to someone’s mother, father, sister, or even your own family. There are many people right now who are at high risk but can’t afford to stay home from work. Put them into consideration and just stay home and the more people who do, the faster this will all end! I hope everyone stays safe and remember, we’re all in the same boat, so take what you need and be considerate of others.