When reports first started coming out about a contagious virus affecting thousands of people living in China, no one truly thought that it would eventually make its way towards the United States and bring the chaos that we are now experiencing. Now with millions of Americans applying for unemployment benefits, the worst is still yet to come amid this tragic pandemic. I recently applied for a job at the Alamo Drafthouse and never did it cross my mind that I would only be working for a month until I would have to start applying for unemployment.
My last day on the job was during that first week of spring break when people truly started to get worried about the coronavirus. Walking into work that day felt strange as I could feel the fear and intensity in people’s eyes. Cleaning the theaters felt different than usual as I was concerned about coming in contact with the virus while also being sure that everything was wiped down properly. The night dragged on with barely any people showing up to watch a movie and the rest of the weekend was no different. “In all my months of working at Alamo, I could not remember a time where it was as slow as it was that weekend” Pierce Renio explained. Although we tried to convince one another that this outbreak would not last long, it was only a matter of time until they officially shut down the theater and told us we would be getting our last paycheck for a while.
The next week they sent out an email warning us about the possibility that the shutdown could turn into a permanent separation from employment of six months or more. “I could not believe what I had read,” Brandin Mann expressed, “I never would have thought that I would be looking at another job this year.” I became emotional thinking of how I had just started to get to know my coworkers only to possibly never see them again. I enjoyed working at Alamo and did not want to think about having to look for another job.
While the government passed the COVID-19 Stimulus Bill that should give theaters the money they need to start back up again, no one truly knows for sure what the outcome may be. If theaters do open back up within the next two months, people are certainly not going to be running back to see their favorite movie. Even theaters in China were forced to close again after only being opened for a week. “I think the best thing we can do right now is fight through this pandemic together and hope that everything will work out for the better.” Chris Esquivel commented. The most important thing we need to remember is to practice social distancing so we do not put any more innocent lives at risk. Do not forget to be considerate of others when buying groceries and know that when this is all over, we will rise and do better.