EDITOR’S NOTE: David Jablonski is profiling people from all walks of life who are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. If you have a story idea, email him at email@example.com).
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives around the area, the country and the world in many different ways.
Teresa Williams, of Springboro, falls into the category of people who lost their jobs and are now adapting to guiding a child through school at home. Her second-grade son, Jackson, is adjusting to the new normal as well.
“I run on schedules,” Williams said. “He does really well with having set times to do certain things. He has until like 9:30 to finish breakfast, and then he has an hour and a half on certain subjects, and then he goes into creative and he has an hour and a half on certain subjects, and then he goes into active and he has personal time. He has a pretty full schedule. We keep him pretty busy.”
Jackson talks to friends on video chat, but it’s not the same as learning in a group.
“When you’re in a group, you learn to think like you friends,” Williams said, “and it’s a different way of looking at things and problem solving.”
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Williams has her own problems in that area. In one way, she was fortunate to lose her job in January because she was ahead of so many people who have lost their jobs this month. She worked for a manufacturer of RFID technology. When the coronavirus hit China and shut down production there, it resulted in downsizing and layoffs in her company months before the same happened here.
Williams expected to land a job soon because she had so many promising leads. Then the COVID-19 crisis hit the United States. Interviews were postponed. Jobs that would have been filled now may not get filled until June, July or even later in the summer. She hopes the floodgates open when the stay-at-home order is lifted. The uncertainty makes everything even harder.
“Who knows how it affected the companies I interviewed with,” Williams said. “Will they even fill the position anymore? Will they have the capacity? Will they have the money. It’s been really tough.”
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With so many people fighting worse situations, Williams said she doesn’t want to feel sorry for herself. At the same time, she enjoyed her job and has a strong work ethic, so it’s challenging dealing with the current situation.
“When I go and check my emails and I don’t have anything that’s pending or urgent, it hurts the ego,” she said.
Williams’ husband Scott works as a network infrastructure engineer for the Dover Corporation and has been working on getting all the employees in that company working from home. He worked from home before this crisis and has continued to do so.
Williams spends her days looking for work and helping her son with school. She filed for unemployment and has to show that she has applied for at least two jobs a week to keep getting the unemployment checks. Last week, she was surprised to get eight phone interviews.
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“I’m optimistic in the next couple weeks that something’s going to come up for me,” she said, “but will it be in the same pay range as I was making before? I don’t know.”
Looking at the bright side, Williams has had the time to focus on teaching her son this month. This past week was the second week he was studying at home. The Springboro school district provided strong guidance on how to handle the home schooling.
“His teacher sent home lots of resources,” she said. “She sent home his classroom books and then an agenda of what he should be accomplishing during the week each day. So it’s a nice breakdown. It’s very organized. I can just see kids rushing through it and only actually doing schoolwork for 45 minutes to an hour. I mean you can crush it if you really want to and get it done and have the rest of the day to sit on a video game, so it’s concerning how they they are really absorbing.”
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