The coronavirus is not only a threat to our lives; it’s also a threat to our livelihood. It’s important to stay home and obey social distancing guidelines to help curb the spread of the virus but people also need to earn their keep. At least 22 million Americans are now unemployed because of the coronavirus and more are expected to follow suit if the situation doesn’t improve. There lies the problem. People need to work but in order to do so, they need to go out. If the government opens the country too soon, COVID-19 will continue to spread. And if that happens, more businesses will be affected and may be forced to close shop. If you’re one of those whose jobs are in jeopardy because of the on-going crisis, you should already be thinking, “what would I do if I lose my job due to coronavirus?”
How to Avoid Unemployment
Work From Home
If you were to ask me, I would ask employers to devise a way that they can still operate without letting go of anyone. Businesses, especially those that can still thrive during the pandemic, should consider a work-from-home set-up if it is applicable. Working from home reduces the risks brought by the pandemic while also lessening some of the expenses normally incurred in an office set-up.
Move Your Business Online
Many industries are struggling right now because of the coronavirus. Airlines, for example, have seen a drastic decrease in flights since countries have been on lockdown and people are hesitant to travel. The future of air transportation will certainly be affected now that people are more aware that coronavirus spreads easily in planes.
Some business offer products or services that are still needed despite the lockdown. Food is the perfect example. Not everyone were able to stock up on food to keep them and their family fed until the pandemic is over whenever that may be. Truth be told, eating the same canned goods for months can take a toll on your health, both physically and mentally. These are some of the reasons why we still need establishments that offer food, cooked or otherwise.
Fortunately, we can purchase food online and have them delivered to our homes. If I was in the food business, this is the way to go. You still need people to prepare the food. If you have a small business, you and your family can continue making your products. Larger businesses may not be able to keep everyone on their payroll. What the owner can do is divide the staff into groups that will work on assigned days. With the reduced hours, their paycheck will not be as fat as before but that’s better than not earning anything at all. Some businesses have chosen to retain a skeletal group and lay off the rest so they can keep operating. This is unfortunate for those who had to be let go.
For deliveries, you can avail of courier services or take them yourself. Another option is for the customer to pick up the product. They can pre-order online and pick it up from your physical store or at an agreed meet-up point. This lessens interaction between you or your staff and the customers.
Moving your business to the online world also applies to non-food products. Since a lot of companies will be requiring their employees to work from home, they will need their own computers. If you’re in the business of selling such products, you’re in luck. Start an online store and offer your laptops and what-have-yous online. Similar with food establishments, you can arrange for your products to be delivered or picked up.
What To Do If I Lose My Job
Apply for Unemployment Assistance
In case I do lose my job due to coronavirus, one of the things I should consider is to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The CARES Act provides economic assistance to Americans who lost their jobs because of the crisis.
Talk Things Over with Your Landlord
Hopefully, your landlord or landlady understands what’s happening and gives you some leeway with your rent. Don’t just assume that you can stop paying altogether, though. Some of them rely solely on the rent to pay for their own expenses.
Talk to your landlord (don’t forget to practice social distancing) about the situation and try to come up with a payment plan. For example, you can agree on a lesser amount while the lockdown is still in effect and then cover what you owe once things go back to normal. The important thing is not to avoid your landlord and come up with a plan that will benefit both parties.
Find Other Ways to Earn
Rent Out Your Parking Space
Thanks to the coronavirus, people are avoiding public transportation like the plague. Well, COVID-19 is kind of like the plague so you get the picture. Car owners are also not too keen on carpooling. The result is more cars in need of parking spaces.
If you live in a busy area where offices and establishments are still open for business, you could offer your driveway as parking space for a fee. Also, families with more than one vehicle may need extra parking spaces since everyone’s home.
You still need to practice social distancing and you may want to steer clear of the driveway for now. Maybe you should disinfect your driveway every now and then, particularly when the car is not parked.
Car for Hire
Since you’ll be stuck at home, might as well rent out your car. This will help with your finances, especially if you’re not done paying for your car. Ask people you know and trust if they need a ride and if they’re willing to pay to use yours. If there’s no one, you can rent it out to strangers with the help of car sharing websites such as Turo. It’s like the Airbnb for cars. You do need to do some serious disinfecting before using your car, though.
Do Freelance Work
No matter how hard you try to limit your expenses, you will still need money to come in. One way to do that is to find another job. The freelance community has gradually grown through the year. A number of industries rely on freelancers to help their businesses.
Freelance writers compose blog posts, emails, social media posts, and other similar tasks to help promote a website or company. Graphic artists take care of the artsy side of things. Virtual assistants are basically administrative assistants that work from home.
Online tutors have also become necessary with school out and kids at home. Most schools continue to offer lessons online but some parents are looking at the extra time as an opportunity for their kids to learn even more. Let’s just hope they haven’t seen Parasite yet.
Kidding aside, you should take advantage of the surge in demand for online services. You’ll need stable internet connection and a computer or laptop for all the online jobs mentioned here. If you already have these two plus the right skillset, then you should be on your way to earning a bit of money and softening the blow of losing your job because of the lockdown.
Offer Home Service
If you have the skill, you have a way to earn. Are you handy with a hammer? Do you know a thing or two about electrical wiring? Can you fix a leak? Get paid doing house or appliance repairs.
People are complaining about not being able to go to salons. This is the perfect opportunity to earn from cutting or styling hair. Aside from your barber skills, you’ll need a set of professional barber kit to make you look, uhmm… more professional.
One potential problem with this part-time gig is social distancing. Some of your neighbors my not want anyone else stepping into their homes. You also have to be near your client if you have to cut his or her hair. If you’re going to do this, assure your potential clients that you will practice protocols. You’ll be wearing a mask and disinfecting yourself and your gear before coming over.
Be A Reseller
A popular money-making alternative in case I lose my job due to coronavirus is to sell goods. If you decide on reselling stuff to make money while on lockdown, you should do the necessary research first. Find out which ones will actually sell. You don’t want to be stuck with boxes of stuff that people won’t buy.
Food is a good start. Buy in bulk and resell them for a reasonable price. Avoid price gouging so you won’t get in trouble with the law. Plus, you won’t get repeat customers if you cheat them of their hared earned money.
Emergency food is in high demand nowadays thanks to people realizing they should’ve been stockpiling these items before COVID-19 happened. Check out Survival Frog. They offer different kinds of emergency food such as the 4-Week Survival Food Kit by 4Patriots and the ReadyWise 120 Serving Entree Only Emergency Food Bucket.
Items used to fight coronavirus are also popular. As a matter of fact, they’re sold out in a lot of places. If you can get your hands on some disinfectants, alcohol, hand soap, and alcohol-based wipes, you can sell them online, again, for reasonable prices.
A lot of online sellers are offering face masks. You can jump on the bandwagon but make sure you have a target market. The Betsy The Believe Fairy Mask and the Rosita The Fiesta Fairy Mask courtesy of Teelie Turner, for example, will be popular with the ladies, especially those who love fairies.
Sell Your Own Creations
Put any skill you have to good use. If you know how to sew, make something that will sell such as face masks, tote bags, pouches, pillow cases, and clothes. A lot of people are into cooking and baking now so you can sell them your DIY aprons and mittens. You can also offer sewing services in case someone needs something repaired or altered. Check out Bluprint for online tutorials on how to make face masks and other DIY projects.
If you’re more into woodworking, you can make pieces of furniture and sell them online. Cook meals or bake goodies then sell them to your neighbors.
Sell Your Old Stuff
Take a good look around your place. Find things that don’t “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say but will fetch a good price on eBay or from your friends. It’s time to let go of your collection of old toys, comic books, and CDs.
A garage sale may invite a crowd, which is something we don’t want during this pandemic. Take photos of your stuff and post them online instead. Tag people so they’d know you’re selling. If they see something they like, they can come over to pick it up. You can also have it delivered with the buyer shouldering the shipping costs.
Be More Self-Sufficient
Start growing vegetables, herbs, root crops, and even fruits in your backyard. If possible, raise chickens or other animals. Sooner or later, you’ll have food to eat. That means you’ll depend on grocery stores lesser.
Think of other ways you can cut expenses by doing things yourself. Use fire and wood ovens instead of electric ones. Do your own repairs instead of paying a professional.
Look for A New Job
This is certainly not the most ideal of times to go job hunting but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. In fact, you should continue applying for jobs despite the uncertainty.
Make a list of all your skills and credentials. Use this list to figure out what kind of jobs you can apply. Try looking for a job that’s somewhere along your expertise. If your industry is deeply affected, it may take some time before companies start hiring people.
Your next option is to open yourself to other opportunities. While this may seem like a stopgap measure and that you’re probably settling on a new line of work, you should make your potential employer feel that you are dedicated to the job if you ever get hired.
Businesses that are still operating such as supermarkets and courier services may be overwhelmed right now and could use some additional help. See if you can get a part-time job there to help you get through this crisis. And remember there are social distancing guidelines in place so it wouldn’t be wise to go to establishments to personally submit your application. Try the online route first then go on from there.
Cope with Stress
When dealing with sudden unemployment, the first things that come to mind is finding ways to earn so you can continue to put food on the table and pay your bills. We sometimes forget that the mind also needs help.
The fear of the coronavirus has already brought stress and anxiety to many. Its repercussions such as cabin fever and loss of income are even harder to ingest leading many to fall into depression.
Learn Your Lesson
We need to prepare. The next time a crisis such as this comes our way, we should be ready. In case this still needs to be said, don’t spend your earnings on anything unnecessary. Put the little extras you receive in the bank or purchase stocks for your prepper pantry.
That is definitely one of the things I’ll do from this point forward — save up and stock up. I need a safety net in case I lose my job due to coronavirus or whatever disaster is lurking ahead. While there’s money stashed away for emergencies, I also have a stockpile of food, water and other basic necessities
I will also apply everything else that’s been discussed here even if there’s no crisis. I could also consider having more than one source of income. Even if I’m perfectly happy and feels secure with my current job, for example, there’s always the chance that things will go south. This is what happened to this mom after the coronavirus pandemic changed everything in a blink of an eye.
It’s a sad truth that many people have lost their source of income due to the lockdown, some temporarily and others possibly for good. Our only hope is that everyone works together so that the coronavirus pandemic finally becomes a thing of the past. When that finally happens, we can all move on, pick up the pieces and with a bit of luck and lots of hard work, get back to normal or possibly the “new normal.”
For now, we need to take this as a lesson and reminder that anything can happen any time. That’s why we at Gentleman Pirate Club strive to promote disaster and emergency preparedness.