The Pandemics Price Tag


Graphic by: Erin Geschwender

Callie Cook, Staffer

Many fun events were shut down in 2020 due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Now, in the Spring of 2021, many jobs have been lost or affected due to the pandemic outbreak our country, and the world, have been dealing with. In what ways were high schoolers’ jobs affected? How has it affected them or their family members? How have people who have been affected by job loss recovered, and what was the reaction. We’re high school students affected by COVID-19 job loss, and how did it affect them?

LSE sophomore Avery Ocken works at Scooters and has seen the impacts of COVID-19 on her job. Jobs have been affected in multiple ways due to COVID-19. For Ocken, her job hours were cut down. 

“I still get about 5-10 hours a week, depending on my schedule. I would like to work a little more. My shifts have gotten shorter and I have been working less because of new people being hired,” Ocken said. 

COVID-19was first the reason why many concerts were being cancelled, and many stores started to put a limited capacity in place. Many job places like Scooters, started to hire more due to people being cut from their job. Scooters were having to cut some hours of other workers, just to make more room for the new trainees’ and workers to get them earning money and working.

Overall, I still get about 5-10 hours a week, depending on my schedule. I would like to work a little more. My shifts have gotten shorter and I have been working less because of new people being hired.” Ocken said

According to the May 2020 article “US job losses due to COVID-19 highest since Great Depression” published by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, “The country has lost 20.6 million jobs since mid-March, resulting in an unemployment rate of 14.7%, a level not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s.The number of jobs lost more than doubles the number seen in the 2007-2009 Great Recession, when 8.7 million Americans lost jobs. According to USA Today, of the 20.6 million jobs lost, 18 million are expected to be temporary when the pandemic recedes.” 

Scooters decided to remain open during the heavy hit of COVID-19 to give more people the chance of getting a job during the pandemic while people were losing jobs.Avery Lambert (Scooters lead barista) explained why Scooters decided to remain open. “They hired more people because more people due to them losing jobs and Scooters wanted to provide as many people with jobs so they could keep their stability. District managers are also making store managers hire more people, they really don’t have a choice. Even if a store is at 30, the DM might want them to hire 10 more people. So some stores might have too many employees making it harder for employees who actually need hours and money to pay off bills or school,etc.”

COVID-19 has been a tough time throughout the 11 months for many citizens. With all the mask requirements, and quarantining, many people have taken to social media to post about their feelings towards the pandemic, and how they wish it will soon come to an end. According to Corona statistics, updated every hour by New York Times, 27,965,785 have gotten the virus in the U.S. and 109,246,204 people have gotten it world wide. This huge outbreak caused many job occupations to close, and started shutting down their business.

Students were having to adapt to the new schedule with zoom days and in person school days.

LSE Junior Jocelyn Garcia works at High Society Cheesecake, while jobs were starting to get affected.

At the start of the pandemic, my managers weren’t very sure about what would happen so they changed the hours we were open and only two people were scheduled for the first couple of weeks,” Garcia said. “Since many of my co-workers and I had been transitioning to online school, we didn’t have a problem with this. As the semester went on, more of my co-workers were scheduled and I eventually went back to work at the start of the summer.”  

As schools started to transition to half or full-zoom, many jobs started to feel at ease with their workers and their schedules. 

“Since COVID-19 first hit, we haven’t had too many changes around our shop. To ensure that our customers and the shop’s employees stay healthy, we wear masks, ask that customers wear a mask when they come in, and clean the front area every time someone comes in,” Garcia said. “We unfortunately do not let customers eat in the shop anymore because it can get pretty busy and we like to limit the people in the shop. Since the summer, hours have gone back to normal so we are open from 9am-7pm.” 

According to the March 2020 article, The Economic Devastation Is Going to Be Worse Than You Think, published by Russel Berman, they speak about how “The urgent call for social distancing across much of the country has forced the closure of just about any business where human beings congregate. The restaurant, live-entertainment, tourist, and airline industries are being crushed. Public and private mass-transit systems—many already unprofitable—are facing budgetary crises.” Russel Berman said.

Jobs were being shut down all over the United States to help slow the spread of COVID-19, as well as starting a quarantine for approximately 2 weeks. Covid first had a big hit in March, when it first started spreading. Schools shut down and started doing zoom, and job occupations were limited. 

Many families dealt with job loss, and were affected by it in many ways, as it took a huge toll on students of LSE as well as families.