At the beginning of this COVID mess, I could no longer afford the rent for where I was living so I had to quit my job and move back in with my parents. I knew because I quit my job I couldn’t apply for unemployment benefits, so I am so thankful every day for my parents.
My aunt told me about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and when I signed up it said I was eligible, and I was thrilled. Of course, like everyone else, the end of June meant the end of PUA for me.
The website said I was eligible for Unemployment Insurance, so I applied. I was left on “pending” for more than a month, required to upload extra information, and finally I got a number to call to hopefully get help.
The conversation that transpired left me in tears. The man who was supposed to help me did not have much to say except that everything was my fault. I kept being told what I could’ve have gotten if I applied sooner, and like I had assumed, my quitting meant no UI.
But as I broke down in tears being forced to realize all I had lost this year — my house, my job and my independent life — this man did nothing to help and simply repeated how I should’ve done it sooner and that a letter (most likely my rejection) would be in the mail.
I am not complaining about not getting UI; I had a feeling I would not. The issue is that I am not the only person this man will talk to. I am not the only person struggling. And while I may be incredibly sensitive, I’m sure there are other people out there who are, too — especially during a global pandemic.
And I want to be clear: I am not saying the man should’ve been kind and given me UI. I know he most likely doesn’t have the power to do that. But when I broke down in tears, I think he should’ve handled things better.
It is not always easy to be kind, but any kind of positive interaction at the time could’ve helped me, instead of the cold and detached reply about checking the mail.
I know it is unlikely the man who I spoke to on the phone will read this, but I still ask anyone who does: Please be kinder.
Everyone is struggling with so much. I don’t know when I will be able to afford an independent life again, nor do I even have any idea what the future post-COVID looks like. But I do know that the future will be a lot better if we can all be kinder to each other.
And the mask debate continues, unfortunately with no scientific research to confirm the anti-maskers’ position.
And when I say scientific research, I mean peer-reviewed studies done by reputable researchers.
I know President Trump respects Dr. Stella Immanuel, but her belief in demon sperm disqualifies her as an expert in mask efficacy. At least in my book.
Surgeons first began wearing masks in 1897. By 1937, gloves and masks became the standard of care. Why would this still be the standard of care if they were ineffective?
Sherrie Carden, in her Tuesday letter to the editor (Your Views, Tribune-Herald, Aug. 25), says she believes we should be able to choose which version of the truth fits our reality (alternative facts, ala Kellyanne Conway?).
And she chooses faith over science, but there shouldn’t be conflict. I choose to live by Jesus’ words in Luke 6:31: “Do on to others as you would have them do to you.”
I would be horrified if I gave someone COVID-19, therefore I wear a mask. And I expect the same consideration from the people I encounter.
At the end of Sherri’s letter she asks, “Will we all be isolated, alone and without support — wearing masks wherever we go as long as we are ordered to?”
Alone and isolated? If this is not hyperbole and you are truly afraid your family and friends will desert you if you wear a mask, I hope you consider a visit to your spiritual adviser (masked, of course).