Working Class During COVID-19

If you’re lucky like I am you haven’t really been financially impacted by COVID-19, and the imposed self-isolation so many of us find ourselves in.

It’s hard for me not to think about how this has affected people like my dad, who in the 1980s and 90s raised five kids on a barber’s wage. I think about how he wouldn’t have survived this. How my family, wouldn’t have survived this.

I think about kids like me, who were beaten by their stressed out, hard-working parents under the best of circumstances, I can’t imagine what they would have done to me and my siblings if under this type of financial duress.

You know, despite all of his failings, my dad, a working class immigrant, tried his best. He learned how to raise kids from his abusive parents, who reared their children in a poverty stricken Italy. The only way they knew how to discipline was through corporal punishment, and the beatings were more severe when finances were next to nil.

Life for so many of us out there is hard, even when we’re able to work. My dad didn’t have any one to turn to in times like these. He didn’t have a parent, or a sibling to help him out. He had to make money, sick or tired, no matter what, to feed his kids.

These days, I hear a lot of people attempting to shame people like my dad who want and need to work. They’re telling them that they’re not socially responsible. Well, those judgments aren’t helping feed their kids, are they? It’s so easy to point fingers, to sit on our soap boxes and attempt to shame and humiliate others into playing ball, but life isn’t as black and white as that.

I was up last night thinking of all the kids whose home is broken. For them, this isn’t a lot of fun. They’re stuck inside, possibly being abused, witness to substance abuse, and here are many of us, with no compassion for them, as they suffer silently.

Personally, there isn’t a lot that I can do. But I won’t blame any of them for opening their shops tomorrow. And you know what? I will be the first person there, supporting them.

Let’s hope an end to this is nigh.

It’s Sunday. Thanks for reading.

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