Americans spent 2020 hoping the Covid-19 pandemic would be over the next year. They spent 2021 settling into a new life where Covid is never far from their minds. We checked back in with some of the people who shared their stories about trying to navigate a pandemic that turned their financial lives upside down.
two daycare centers are full, but otherwise she feels like she’s back at Day 1 of the pandemic.
Every child’s cough makes her wonder if a crisis is brewing. Her teachers are tired. Mrs. Brooks recently had to shut down a toddler classroom for two weeks after a student tested positive for Covid-19. She felt awful breaking the news to parents; many have jobs at gas stations or retail stores and can’t miss work.
Her center, Little Believer’s Academy in the Raleigh, N.C., suburbs, has about 110 students, up from the pre-pandemic 90. Other nearby daycare centers have shut down permanently. Mrs. Brooks is grateful for government grants that have helped her center survive the pandemic, and she hopes for great things for her students’ futures.
But with the new Omicron variant, it feels like there is no end in sight. “All I can do every day,” Mrs. Brooks said, “is just pray.”
Coronavirus Threatens to Push the Child-Care Industry Over the Edge (Oct. 17, 2020)
Escaping Restaurant Work and Not Looking Back
Joe Ormiston would like to eventually work in information technology, after getting IT training when he joined the Navy Reserve.
finally left the restaurant industry. “I had one foot out the door,” Mr. Ormiston said, “and the pandemic gave me the final shove.”
Last year, the Nashville, Tenn., restaurant where he was a bartender closed permanently. After relying on unemployment benefits for a while, he signed up for the Navy Reserve. He recently finished about two months of basic training and about eight months of training in information technology.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
How are you navigating the coronavirus economy? Join the conversation below.
Mr. Ormiston just started a new job in merchandising at Lowe’s, and he would like to eventually work in IT. He had to spend some of his savings last year after he was laid off, and he’d also like to build that back up.
He isn’t interested in going back to restaurants, though. Even before the pandemic, it was a tough industry. Now, during Covid, “it’s taking a job that’s …….