COVID-19 Impact: Surviving the Risk of Unemployment


The pandemic has caused major changes in people’s lives. One of the major hits a lot of people experienced due to COVID-19 is unemployment. When most businesses closed and laid off employees, many people feared that what would kill them isn’t the virus but hunger.

Aside from the impact on people’s livelihood, unemployment affects an individual’s mental health. The American Psychological Association describes how. The organization says that job loss can trigger anxiety and depression. APA also mentions that as people lose work, they also lose a sense of structure and purpose in life.

Indeed, most people treat their careers as a major part of life. Losing a job can therefore feel like losing a loved one.

Stages of Grief

There are five stages of grief– denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. People who lost their jobs probably went through these five stages.

Denial is when people want to ignore the fact that they lost a job. Some felt intense anger and blamed either the situation or the government’s inefficiency in handling the pandemic. Others, in the hope of keeping their jobs, willingly signed papers to lower their salaries. But if all efforts don’t seem to work out, they spiral into depression, at a loss of what to do.

But after going through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, acceptance comes in. With acceptance comes the question, “What’s next?”

Overcoming Loss

The immediate question of workers who got laid off is how to quickly acquire a financial resource for their basic needs. Without a job, where are they going to get money for their groceries? How are they going to pay for rent or mortgages? How about the utility bills? What are they going to use to pay for it?

People who are smart enough to have saved for a rainy day have the emergency fund to cover at least a few months of bills until they find a new job. But for others who earn enough to survive day by day, it can be tough.

Some people turned to unemployment insurance claims. The Department of Labor states that in March 2020, there was an increase in claims, especially from individuals coming from the food and hospitality industry.

empty office

Yet, others did not only seek help from the government, but they started to help themselves. Business-minded individuals started putting up their small businesses, putting their passion into something profitable. They used the internet to promote their business and used delivery services to safely reach their customers.

Others found potential in several online jobs. Virtual assistant jobs have suddenly become a trend as businesses go online. Other remote jobs such as online teaching, freelance writing, web designing, and social media management are some new opportunities that sprouted in response to the pandemic.

Some people, on the other hand, saw the importance of cutting expenses to manage their finances. These individuals feel that they may have been lucky enough to find a new job, but the salary is not enough to sustain the lifestyle they once had.

A small business, for example, will need capital to begin, and even when it is set up, it may take time to gain desirable revenue. A freelance gig might give an employee freedom, but it is not as stable as a full-time job when it comes to regular income. Therefore, some people choose to let go of their properties and move to a smaller home with a lesser rental fee.

Some are not as lucky to have a choice, though. Some cannot pay the mortgage and are in danger of foreclosure. These people may be wondering if they can still sell their houses facing foreclosure. The answer is yes. Some companies do buy houses as soon as a homeowner needs to.

The Silver Lining

For some, they treat the pandemic as a privilege to take a break from all the past years dedicated solely to their careers. Others have taken unemployment as an opportunity to rearrange their focus and re-evaluate their lives. Some found out that a nine-to-five job is not for them, and freelance work is a better fit for the lifestyle they truly want.

Yet, others see the reality of it. Freelance may be nice and fun, but full-time work benefits like health insurance are still necessary. This is especially true at a time when people are not certain of what the virus can bring. To be ready, funds are necessary. Money matters, and it is a reality of life. For these people, all they can do is find another source of income and do whatever it takes to survive.

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