HEALTH

The coronavirus is impacting families financially across the state

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

Famata Musa says her biggest worry is not being able to provide food and shelter for her three children, ages 2, 4 and 6.

The single mom who works as a direct support professional caring for autistic adults was forced to stay at home with her kids after the coronavirus shut down all schools and some day cares.

“It’s very overwhelming trying to be a mom and play teacher, and play nurse when they don’t feel good. It’s hard. I have been using PTO, but going forward I am trying to get help,” Musa said. “When you really don’t know what to do and you’re really all alone, it’s crazy trying to keep yourself together and not let your kids see you down and see you break and see you cry.”

That’s because when Musa’s PTO runs out, so will her income.

“Right now I am placed in a crazy, crazy predicament. It feels like I really don’t know what to do or where to go. Life still keeps going. Bills are still there, they’re not going to stop just because of everything that’s going on; people still want their money. It’s just really, really hard when you’re not actively working due to the situation and I hope I don’t fall behind,” she said.

If the coronavirus continues to spread, Musa fears she will join the more than 155,000 workers that filed for unemployment this month. It’s why she is hoping new relief comes through the Legislature soon.

In the meantime, she is trying to access resources like Homefront, that provide help including shelter, food and income to families that may find themselves vulnerable.

“When I have a little break I try to see if I can get help or some type of assistance and stay updated on what’s going on and what the future is looking like,” Musa said.

While being worried about how she will make ends meet without a paycheck during the pandemic, her greatest concern right now isn’t anything material.

“God forbid something happens and I lose my house and I lose my car or something, but also they are material things. My biggest fear are my kids’ lives and my life,” she said.

TOPIC: HEALTH