I work in a restaurant. We went "green" last Friday and, despite CDC regulations that limit our hours and call for staggered scheduling, we have done none of that. I'm now working 11-hour shifts, interacting with dozens of people, and I was told that if I were to refuse hours or try and work less, they would cut my unemployment benefits -- which have been paying more than my typical shifts did anyway. So now I'm working MORE, making LESS (I'm not eligible for UEC now regardless), and putting myself at risk of infection when I don't have / can't afford healthcare. Before the quarantine, I was struggling to pay for my monthly expenses. I was miserable and hated my job. I was actively searching for anything else when the pandemic hit - now I feel even more trapped with less opportunity for growth. The anxiety is overwhelming most days and is getting in the way of me pursuing other options. It's crippling. There were so many things in this article that stuck out to me or made me say "yep, I feel that. Been there."

Writer, musician, rock climber, and human trying his best. Get in touch: www.austinharveywrites.com

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