COMMENTARY: Losing employment during a pandemic is more than being jobless

May 27, 2020 /

Because of this pandemic, many people across the nation have lost work and many are struggling with the prospect of being laid off from work. As a child of someone who is going to lose their job, I know the hardships my family is about to go through.

My mother is going to be laid off in the upcoming weeks, and we are most definitely not prepared for it. Under normal circumstances, my mom would be able to find another job in a matter of weeks. But because of the ongoing pandemic, very few employers are hiring, and many of the ones that are hiring require close contact with other people, which, as we all know, is not safe. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are more than 1.6 million cases in the United States, and nearly one hundred thousand deaths. In Kern County, there have been over 1,800 confirmed cases and 29 deaths. 

This is why my family does not want to risk having to go to a more populated work area. My mother had an office job, which allowed her to be somewhat secluded from others. She was comfortable going to work and coming back home, convinced she was keeping herself safe for my siblings and I.

My mother is not alone. The United States Census Bureau reported  47 percent of people have either lost employment  income or another adult in their household lost employment. As if that’s not enough, 39 percent of those surveyed expect to lose their jobs within the month. Unfortunately, my family has become a part of this statistic. 

Because people continue to be laid off from work, this contributes to people’s ability to provide for their family. The U.A. Census Bureau reported 32 percent of adults get enough food to eat but not foods that they need and/or want, while 10 percent do not get enough food they need nor want. 

With my mom’s job loss comes the loss of health insurance as well. In these unprecedented times, health insurance is a must. If one of my sisters or I were to get sick, we wouldn’t have the good health insurance, so now we have to be extremely cautious. Not to mention that 38.7 percent of adults have reported that they have put off seeking medical treatment because the health system is being severely taxed. 

According to the Census Bureau, 29.7 percent of adults feel nervous or anxious more than half of the day. I know that my family is going through that as well because now we’re one stable paycheck down during times where it seems pretty impossible to get a safe job. 

If you haven’t already noticed, the loss of a job is a chain reaction. Once someone loses their job, they become worried about their ability to provide and their health care coverage and their stress levels rise. My family’s priority is keeping everyone safe, and we will do our best to do that under our circumstances. 

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