Day 100 of self-isolation.
Great news! Last week I received a notification from HR that they’re recalling my partial-furlough. I can’t wait to be working full-time again and have some sense of financial security. It’s been so fucking rough these past three months, where I had to borrow money from my parents and a friend and pick and choose which utilities I should and could pay for, and really think about how I can stretch a dollar with food. And that federal stimulus check? That went entirely to my rent.
Of course, the New York State government hasn’t been any help, and after 3 months of no communication from them, I finally receive a call from a case manager. Despite my rent, despite borrowing money from others, despite being partially-furloughed to part-time and not making enough money to live normal, they reject me — just because I work more than 3 days a week. I asked what can I do repeal that decision or what kind of aid I can find, but they say nothing can be done. Everything about this — from the rejection to the no communication to the strict guidelines — reeks of bureaucracy. I had no expectations from the government on a federal level, but I feel really disappointed and disillusioned by my local government.
All that aside, I’m happy to be back on full-time and my benefits (such as health insurance) safely secured. Even though I struggled financially at the beginning of the pandemic, I can look forward to saving money: I don’t have to commute, I’m not eating out all the time, and quite frankly my social life (like going to a bar or coffee shop) has been at a pleasant lull.
I consider myself very fortunate and very lucky, especially when so many people are unemployed and underemployed. Here in NYC, I have friends who’ve lost jobs in the food and hospitality industry. I hear news of food bank lines welcoming new, never-be-seen faces — a sign that well-to-do families and financially-secure people are now experiencing Great Depression-level anxieties.
It’s goddamn sad.
The world seems to be falling apart, and all I can do now is shut myself in, recoup my losses and payback those I owe, and truly hope we’ll all pull through this without too many scars.