A Universal Problem: How Unemployment Affects the Bronx Science Community

How unemployment affects the Bronx Science community.


Jackson Trauben

As COVID-19 forced New York to be in a state of lockdown starting on March 19th, 2020, many students and their families had to stay at home, which left many parents unemployed.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, people are being affected in a myriad of different ways. Some have been affected medically while others have been affected socially. However, everyone has been affected financially, with many left jobless.

At the end of March 2020, more than three million workers in the United States filed for unemployment claims. By mid-April 2020, the number of claims had grown to twenty-two million. At the end of May 2020, the total surpassed forty million. Naturally, there is no source of income for many Americans. This sadly applies to many Bronx Science families who have to stay at home, which has left many of us unemployed. 

For three Bronx Science students, the lockdown order has made it hard for their families in different ways. These three students have chosen to remain anonymous. The first anonymous students’ family situation is stable. The student said, “My family is doing all right financially. My mom stopped going to work but will resume after the quarantine is over. My dad works from home now and will go to his office sometimes, if it is absolutely necessary.” 

It is a different story for the second anonymous student.“My parents closed their store for the first few months of the quarantine. They recently opened their store up again, because we cannot just depend on the money of the government,” said the second student. 

The third student commented, “my family, about a month ago, reopened their family-owned restaurant with a plastic, see-through barrier at the entrance of the restaurant. The restaurant is running on takeout only, there is no dining in, and orders must be placed over the phone. They are also working with Uber Eats to keep up with the high demand for delivery orders.” 

Unemployment has brought on stress and pressure for many families. For the first anonymous student, the lockdown creates many questions and concerns for their family. For the second anonymous students’ family, it was hard to adjust to this situation, but they were fine as time went by. The second student explained, “during the beginning, there were some conflicts due to long periods of time being exposed to one another without a break or a breather outside. It got better as we focused on activities like baking and house renovation.” 

The current Coronavirus pandemic has also created many conflicts within families. For example, the third student said, “one of my cousins, who is currently in medical training, has been given a much tougher schedule due to the pandemic and has been unable to visit us on the weekends as he would normally.”

With so many questions left unanswered, students are stressed and confused with the situation around them. For the first student, they felt like they have adjusted quite well to the current situation. “I was also a bit scared about our financial situation, but now I’m doing well and have adjusted.” This is also how the second student felt. She said, “it was a strange experience. I adjusted to remote learning relatively well, but my sleeping schedule became a mess. I recently got it back into order. It is relatively peaceful at the moment with my family, as we spend more time together (e.g. movie nights, family baking).” 

However, others have been forced to abandon their usual routine. For the third student, he was forced to temporarily separate from his family. The student said, “Although I would much prefer staying with my family in Pennsylvania, I decided to not be selfish and put the safety of my immediate family first, and I relocated back to New York City.”

At the end of the day, though unemployment can be tough for many families, families have all adjusted to the current situation in their own ways. No matter how challenging this time can be, we have our family by our side. 

The first anonymous student commented that “I was also a bit scared about our financial situation, but now I’m doing well and have adjusted.”