“And I live every day in fear…”

The pandemic has impacted my life in almost every facet imaginable. As a wedding planner, as a small business owner, events are essentially shut down… I can’t work. So a huge part of my life just immediately froze.

I am also the third generation to run my family’s restaurant. We’ve been in business since 1941 when my grandfather opened it. Some of our staff has been with the restaurant as long as I’ve been alive and I have lived a really, really beautiful life. I am in a wonderful industry where I get to express myself creatively. I’ve never been hungry, I’ve never been homeless. I had a safety net underneath me my whole life.

I’ve been really fortunate, but I think the financial realities for those of us in the restaurant and events industry are a daunting. This year, on more than one occasion, I’ve seen the restaurant come to the brink of extinction. A business that I naively believed would just always be.

My parents for the first time in their lives are on unemployment. I depend pretty much on a credit card and unemployment and that’s it. So it has not been easy.

And I live every day in fear of this virus because my dad, who is my hero, has lung disease and Parkinson’s and he lives on oxygen.

Michelle D.