How the Shutdown Changed My Life

Schools suddenly closed in mid March. All the families whose dogs I walked to earn half of my income were suddenly at home. I have not walked one dog since that time. My customers are now at home with their dogs.

I have had one vacation pet sitting job since then. Most people are not traveling or vacationing, and I have not been hired to pet sit, but for that one job.

My piano students stopped coming. We tried some Skype, Zoom, and Duo lessons. The younger students could not manage it. I retained a few students, but because I have health conditions that prevent me from being able to wear a mask, I lost a few more. I now have two left.

I have had to make COVID withdrawals from my IRA to pay bills. I am told I have three years to pay it back without penalty, but in three years the taxes on it will be due.

I could not get my dental care, which I need every three months, and so developed “emergency” needs, and I was at the top of the list when they were allowed to see patients again.

I have been treated like a criminal going places without a mask. Some stores are fine. Others are aggressive about it. Some people give me dirty looks. It is stressful every time I have to go out to a store to get something I need. I try to educate people, but have had little success so far. I understand that our Constitutional Republic is under extreme attack. I do not know what to do.

Jennifer Betts Olszewski
Pelham, NH

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