Individuals That Are Unemployed Due to COVID-19


Monet Troche, Photo Editor

COVID-19 has altered everyone’s lives in one way or another. Several people have learned to do school from home, while others have adjusted to working from home, and sadly, some have been laid off from their jobs.
The unemployment rate in the United States rose to 14.7 percent in April of this year, according to CNBC. For reference, the unemployment rate during the Great Depression was roughly 25 percent.
People throughout the world have been laid off from their jobs due to COVID-19 and the Shelter-in-Place Order. Many were laid off due to the fact that there was no work for them to do and employers could no longer keep their staff on as there was little or no business.
“I work as a banquet server for weddings, club events, and special events of 100+ people,” said Mark Waggoner, a banquet server at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill, California says,
Prior to the Shelter-in-Place Order enforced in March, the Center for Disease Control had advised people to not attend public gatherings with more than ten people. As Waggoner’s job involves various events where 50 or more people attend at a time, his job was no longer available.
“COVID-19 has dramatically affected my job because of the large number of people that are gathering in one room,” Waggoner says.
As states and counties move forward with the reopening process some people who had been laid off from their jobs at the beginning of March are able to go back to their jobs, but for Waggoner, he is worried about when and if he will be able to return to his job.
“There is a lot of uncertainty on when my job will be able to return to normalcy if at all,” Waggoner says.
Many individuals who had been laid off at the beginning of when the Shelter-in-Place Order was in effect, claimed unemployment due to their lost income,
“I have been on unemployment since the beginning of quarantine in March,” Waggoner explained.
Many professions depend on the public to make their income. Restaurants and bars have become one of the many job industries that have taken a hit due to COVID-19. Restaurants have been able to still offer takeout and delivery options for their patrons but serving and bartending jobs has been lost. According to Business Insider, the industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with over 48.1 percent of jobs lost between February and April.
Due to the Shelter-in-Place Order by California Governor Gavin Newson in March Kristen Teicheira, a bartender at Devino’s Restaurant and Bar in Pleasant Hill, California, has been out of work indefinitely.
“Since I’ve been unemployed my life has changed a lot. Working at the bar was the short break I got from the stresses at home and my children. My mental health is suffering due to this and my inability to provide for my family.” Teicheira explained.
Not only has Teicheira had to adjust to not being able to work but she also has had to navigate through homeschooling her six-year-old son.
“Homeschooling has been a major challenge for us,” Teicheira says.
For millions of Americans that have been laid off from their jobs, many applied for unemployment or are living off of saved money, until their benefits arrived.
“I have been living off of saved money and my partner’s income from March 16 until June 28 when I finally received my first unemployment check. It took the Employment Development Department over three months to approve my application and start paying me,” Teicheira explained.
Just like Teicheira, millions of others are having a hard time adjusting to life during a pandemic. Not being able to work and provide for your family can be extremely difficult and stressful.
“This whole pandemic has been rough. Not only mentally but emotionally. I realize that I am blessed to have a roof over my head and food on my table but not being able to provide has been hard,” Teicheira says.
COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place order has affected everyone. It has affected students in having to adjust to doing all of their studies online, professors and instructors have had to adapt to teaching their entire lesson plan online, people have adjusted to working from home, others have continued to commute to work as their jobs aren’t accessible online, essential workers have continued to work, and those who have not been able to work. Everyone has had to adjust to this new way of life for the time being but hopefully, in time, it will be safe for everyone to resume their life before the pandemic.