Because of COVID-19, which started to affect the U.S. in early March, millions of workers nationwide have lost their jobs due to local and statewide shutdowns. Employment rates have plummeted now that health and safety are the world’s top priorities, changing economies and the world we live in as a whole.
As for Ursuline families, some parents are either medical professionals or own businesses that primarily depend on physical contact with clients. While doctors and nurses put themselves at risk to treat patients and help reduce the number of coronavirus cases, business owners have had to try new ways to produce income for their families.
Health professionals—including doctors, nurses and healthcare workers—are often the people most at risk if they work in large hospitals where COVID patients are being treated. They are required to wear surgical masks throughout their shifts, wear disposable gloves when coming into contact with others and wash their hands frequently. Despite taking serious measures, they can still contract the virus and will sometimes get tested if they display flulike symptoms.
A sophomore said, “My dad, a doctor, had all the symptoms of COVID-19 a few weeks ago and had to get tested, but luckily he was negative. He went back to work after a week only to find he couldn’t do much or earn his normal pay, as his Medical Assistants were sent to testing sites.”
This student’s father had gotten a fever, aches and chills, so he got tested for coronavirus just in case he had been infected. Fortunately, he only had pneumonia and not the more severe virus that is currently killing thousands globally.
After a drastic decline in businesses, other families have been laid off by their employers or have had no choice but to pause client contact until further notice from state officials. They may want to avoid getting sick, so although non-essential businesses can legally reopen in Texas, some owners and employees feel the need to stay home for their own safety.
Unemployment rates are skyrocketing as coronavirus continues to spread and affect millions all over the world. A few Ursuline students shared their firsthand experiences with family unemployment.
Becca Loera ’22 said, “My family has to send money to my brother since he and his girlfriend both lost their jobs.”
Job loss during quarantine takes income away from millions, making it more and more difficult for them to pay their bills, buy groceries and fulfill other basic needs. Workers and the self-employed are confronting new challenges with this unprecedented sickness.
Another sophomore said, “My mom has a business working in schools, and due to the school shutdowns everywhere, she has also had to shut down her business and file for unemployment. She does online classes for her customers for free right now, and she can only pay her employees through donations.”
Even though they may be employed, communications workers who usually see customers face-to-face have adapted their companies to meet virtually instead. However, online meetings and conferences can sometimes be less effective, especially with technical problems and a lack of in-person authenticity and motivation.
Celeste Mannel ’22 said, “I have some family members who are used to meeting with clients in person all around the country, but they’ve had to adjust all meetings to be virtual, which in a way affects their dynamic and communication.”
On the contrary, some Ursuline families are benefiting from state-obligated quarantine and social isolation. Paige Gross ’22 said, “My family is usually really busy; before the outbreak, I could go days without seeing my sister. We now see each other every day and are bonding more as a family.”
While most effects of a worldwide pandemic are inarguably negative, we can try to focus on the positive outcomes. Once quarantine is officially over, we will have a newfound appreciation for our friends, and people may be closer with their families. As we navigate these uncharted waters, we must endure together and concentrate on any benefits that could result.
Featured image: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins explains Dallas’s stay-at-home orders.
Featured image courtesy of Fox 4 News