Working Students During The Pandemic

Working students and local businesses continue to strive during these unprecedented times

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Reshman Amin

Senior Reshman Amin has been working at McDonald’s since September. He explains that as he grows older he feels the need to take on more responsibility. And as for staying safe, Amin adds that he is always working in caution.

Angelica Baclig, Journalist

Working in high school is something we have all normalized. Nearly 35% of high school students between the ages of 16-19 have a job as reported by CNBC. Like all workers this season, they also have to work in caution. According to Los Angeles Times, there are more than 1,600,000 coronavirus cases in California as of December 14, 2020. The health of workers are at risk, so have working students considered quitting? 

Senior Reshman Amin, started working in September of this year- mid pandemic. He’s been working at McDonald’s every week for 14-15 hours. When asked about what precautions he takes he states, “We take a lot of precautions at work. I try to stay separated from everyone as much as possible, and I also take a lot of time to wash my hands when I get a chance to. I always keep my mask on at all times of course.” 

Amin explains that as he gets older, he feels that he should take initiative and take responsibility to make his own income. When it came to risks when working, Amin explained that he knew his health was at risk, but besides that the pandemic actually motivated him. He states, “I wanted to help my family through the tough times, so getting a job was going to do that.” 

I wanted to help my family through the tough times, so getting a job was going to do that.”

— Reshman Amin

Just like Amin, senior Alejandra Pena also started work mid pandemic. She states, “I’ve been working at Wendy’s for about a month or two, and I wanted to work to make my own income.” 

Pena works 20 hours per week at Wendy’s and when asked about what she thinks of the risks associated with her working, Pena explains that she knows the risks but takes precaution: wearing masks, washing her hands frequently, and distancing from people. 

Pictured here is one of the items “Chely’s Craft” sells. Junior Ibhar Marroquin works for his mom- who is the owner of “Chely’s Craft.” He contributes by cutting wood for the items. As for the business itself Marroquin states that it’s growing, but there are some times when materials are scarce. (Ibhar Marroquin)

Some students don’t work at fast food chains, but instead work at their local family businesses. According to CNBC almost 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently since the beginning of the pandemic. Businesses have had financial problems and problems regarding the balance of paying employees, paying for covid equipment (new outside tables, extra cleaning supplies, shield coverings, etc.), and having less customers. For more small business information regarding assistance click here. 

Junior Ibhar Marroquin works with his mom on her small business in which they make signs, beds, and tables. Marroquin specifically helps out by cutting wood- which takes a couple of hours. Although they do not have a store, they run their business online with Instagram and Facebook. As time progresses (even in the pandemic), business is growing for them. With them growing, Marroquin also states, “The business can sometimes slow down because we lack materials sometimes. Materials are sometimes out of stock and shipping materials takes a long time.” 

Cristopher Tanchez who’s also a junior works in his family business too. His family’s local business called “My Party Rentals”  does party rentals where they rent out jumpers, chairs, tables, and other party materials. Tanchez states that he answers phone calls or goes out to help deliver the rentals. 

Tanchez comments that he expected his family business to slow down because of social distancing, but it was quite the opposite. He states, “Our business has actually stayed the same, we’ve been almost fully booked especially on weekends. I’m kind of disappointed at the people because that means Covid restrictions are not being followed.” 

A local business University Prep is familiarized with is the “Reliable Self Storage.” Everyday students used to go and buy snacks there; if a student wanted a quick snack, they usually head over next door. But since there’s no school on-campus this year, there are also no students to buy their snacks.

Nevertheless, they explain that they are still doing well with their post-office and their storage facilities. They state, “The storage and the post office are the same [which are doing well], the snack sales are the only thing that’s dropped, now that the students aren’t by.”

Working has certainly been changed due to the pandemic, but most still manage to get through it. More caution has been taken to keep workers safe. And as for local businesses, they seem to be stable. Let’s keep hoping for the best this winter season!