Pandemic leads to lack of work

Bob+Estrada%2C+Mackenzie+Knox+and+Roselyn+Sarkar+work+at+bookstore+which+is+currently+closed+due+to+the+COVID-19+virus.+

Jordyn Toscano

Bob Estrada, Mackenzie Knox and Roselyn Sarkar work at bookstore which is currently closed due to the COVID-19 virus.

Selena Buitrago, Staff Writer

The effects of the COVID-19 virus are ongoing, as Contra Costa County along with the rest of California set a shelter-in-place for all residents until further notice. All non-essential places will be or should be, closed until otherwise determined. 

Essential businesses to stay open will include grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores along with utility providers, emergency and healthcare responders. Along with certain businesses being closed, the public is advised not to gather with others and practice social-distancing.

While many places close, including the Los Medanos College campus, employed students of the district have been worried about what this might mean for them in the coming weeks. 

According to the LMC website, “aside from a limited number of personnel-related to certain on-campus operations, employees will be working remotely to deliver all classes and support services via online format to students.”  

This only addresses those employed at LMC that can do their work remotely but leaves out any information regarding those that cannot work remotely, such as employees of the cafeteria or the bookstore.

“We were told we could file for unemployment, but because we can’t do our jobs remotely, we can’t get paid the usual way,” said LMC student and bookstore employee Kimberly Stelly.

The state-wide shelter-in-place leaves many students concerned about money and how they might deal with this situation without a means to make money. Many employed at the campus did not have much time to prepare for the campus closure. 

“We couldn’t do much until we heard from the district. For about a week and a half, we were waiting to see if we were even going to close. Once we were sure we were closing, we cleaned the store, postponed some orders and checked expiration’s days. There wasn’t much else we could do,” added Stelly. 

With the thought of unemployment in the back of many students’ minds, some have been working through the pandemic and putting in extra hours to help out where they are employed. 

“I am still working. I haven’t been told if we are planning on closing…many people are calling in sick or worried that they might have the virus. We’ve had a lot of people out …We’ve been short-staffed so they’ve been asking me to come in longer and even on my days off,” said LMC student Nicole Cadigan.

Many LMC student workers are struggling to maintain their job during this pandemic while practicing social-distancing. Albeit, until further notice from the state, the LMC campus and non-essential businesses will remain closed to ensure the health and safety of all California citizens.