For the best several weeks, Corona Virus has impacted almost every space of our daily lives. Whether you want to go buy groceries at the supermarket, or walk around the mall with a group of friends, the entirety of what we would call our “normal lives” has been changed. Due to the panic, the vast majority of public places have been closed off, excluding a few essentials. This has made it difficult, especially for small businesses, to maintain a steady income.
Of all the places to be affected by the outbreak, there may be no bigger target than the restaurant industry. On March 16, the announcement that all restaurants were too close to dining effective immediately, with take-out and delivery being peoples only options. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about large chains or a single family run diner, everywhere has been hit at the same time. According to NPR, “The industry is the country’s second-largest private employer with 15.6 million workers. Now, many of them are without work and suddenly face a shaky job market.” This really puts into perspective how large the problem has become.
However, the one group that was hit the hardest were the servers. Many of them rely paycheck to paycheck to pay for their rent, utilities, and their other bills. This is made more troubling when during an interview with Vox, a server named Connor revealed, “I can’t speak for every restaurant, but tips were 90 percent of my income. My hourly income goes to my taxes, so I get a $0 paycheck every two weeks.” This quote goes to show how massive this problem has become. Even if just 1% were hit hard by this pandemic, that’s still 156,000 people without a job. Maybe, if we come together a bit more as a community, we can manage to help everyone who is out of a job due to the outbreak.