COVID-19’s impact on the service industry

     At 3:42 p.m. on March 15, Gov. of Ohio, Mike DeWine issued an order to close all bars and restaurants in Ohio on that night by 9 p.m. due to the Coronavirus. This left thousands of Ohioans without a job, and also left them not knowing when they will be able to work again. 

   Many became concerned just days prior to this order, about restaurants and bars being a clustered meeting place and high risk for spread of this virus. It did not take DeWine long to put action to this.

     ¨Every day we delay, more people will die.¨ DeWine tweeted after announcing the order. 

     DeWine has made strong decisions early and shown great leadership, hoping to slow down the spread of COVID-19. 

     “If we do not act and get some distance between people, our healthcare system in Ohio will not hold up” DeWine also stated on twitter.

     DeWine has been using strategy based on how quickly cities have reacted to past pandemics, and the data that it shows. The social distancing movement being pushed has worked quite effectively in past situations. These are the primary reasons why DeWine has pushed this order on Ohio so quickly.

     For workers in the service industry however, being out of work for so long can be hurtful financially. Most servers and bartenders only make $4 to $5 an hour wage, and it gets taxed out of their paycheck, leaving them with only their tips from the public. This is why being out of work for so long can be so damaging to their personal financing. 

     In addition to closing these facilities down, DeWine also mentioned that for every job that is lost, citizens will be allowed to file for unemployment and hopefully get back money that cannot be earned. But since a server or bartenders day to day rate can differ on how business is, many will be left with inaccurate unemployment checks. 

     While restaurants are still allowed to do carry-out and delivery orders, this means all servers, hosts, and bartenders have lost their jobs. Some kitchen members will still be able to cook, but not many. 

     “I feel bad, most of my coworkers don’t have any way to pay their rent” said high school senior Kaleigh Morely. 

     “I need to pay things like my car insurance, and many seniors are saving for college.” Morely said. 

     She has many friends who work in the industry as well, and this new order is changing things for all of them. Many students, as well as adults, work the service industry as their only job. Not having this source of income has changed many financial plans. 

     “The only people allowed working are the managers and one cook¨ Morely said. 

     Out of many people employed at these establishments, only select few are able to keep working during these times. 

      It is also still a possibility that restaurants can close down all together, stop doing carry-out and delivery, and leave no one in the industry with a job. It is unknown how long businesses will be shut down, and now is when most small businesses will hurt the most.

     In the past few days, many Ohioans have been trying to get people to support their local restaurants, compared to chain restaurants. Without good business, many small places suffer from loss of revenue, and become high risk of shutting down indefinitely. 

     The other downside of this is that no one has any idea how long this pandemic could last in Ohio. That means workers could be barely making any money for weeks, or maybe months before we start to see a decline in COVID-19 cases. No one knows how destructive this could be to the economy until it is all over.