INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New restrictions implemented throughout central Indiana and the nation aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 have left thousands of people suddenly without a job.
Two specific announcements affected one couple in Indianapolis, leaving them with no income at all: the cancellation of nearly every sporting event and the closure of nightclubs, bars, and the inside of restaurants.
Alec Deford and Payton Hartman live in downtown Indianapolis. Hartman is a bartender at a high-end restaurant and Deford is a freelance sports videographer. Deford was on a work trip when he got the news.
“Get to Alabama after two long flights. Set our whole production up and then literally like 5 minutes after we got everything set up, the NCAA tweeted that all NCAA events are canceled,” said Deford.
It wasn’t long after that when the governor of Indiana and the Indianapolis mayor ordered bars and restaurants to close. Now both Deford and Hartman are left wondering what to do next.
“Nobody has any idea when we are going to have sports again. Nobody has any idea when we are going to have work again,” said Deford.
With a timeline still unclear on when athletes will play again and when restaurants and bars will resume seating people inside, the couple is wondering if they need to start looking for different jobs to fill the gaps.
“It really hit me right when everything shut down two days ago. It became very realistic that I don’t have a job to go to. I don’t have any money coming in whatsoever,” said Hartman.
With employment options low while they come up with an alternative plan, they filed for unemployment. They say it took them three hours due to high volume.
“I tried to do it online and it took forever. I figured so many people were on the website, like so many people were doing it when I was. So we all had the same idea,” said Hartman.
“It is so crazy that we are 24 and 23 years old filing for unemployment on a Wednesday,” said Deford.
Hartman said the first few days off work just felt like a long weekend but now not having a schedule to follow and an income to rely on is starting to hit them.
“So that is whenever I kind of realized that you know, I kind of don’t have a job anymore. I had 25, 30 events for the next 2 or 3 months and now they are all just completely gone,” said Deford.
“Not knowing how long it is going to last is probably my biggest worry,” said Hartman.
As the situation surrounding the coronavirus continues to develop, it is still very uncertain when things are going to get back to normal and when Hartman and Deford, along with many other people, are going to be able to get their normal paychecks.