Life During Quarantine: Being Laid Off During Tumultuous Times

I won’t lie I am scared. Two years ago, I got laid off from one of my most favorite and rewarding positions I have ever had. I had finally reached adulthood according to friends and family. I had a steady job. Paid holidays. Weekends off. Benefits. Lived somewhere nice. I had a car again after 6.5 years being a ferry and bus commuter. I grew into feeling happy. Confident and relevant. Then I got the call that it was done.

Over the last two years, I have been working 7 days a week between a full-time, part-time and my own freelancing to working 12- 14 hr. days to make 2/3 of the previous salary. I am not complaining, stating the facts, thankful I found my way once more. I did have to leave the home I had been in for nearly 10 years and get rid of 90% of my belongings. I moved to a convenient but not so safe part of the city and my hectic life doesn’t leave much time to waste.

I just began seeing the fruits of my labor, paying some debt incurred, fixing necessities like my car and myself. I was feeling relaxed and grateful, and it happened again. Surprise! I am laid off and this time it’s a global situation. I applied for unemployment as work during quarantine has drastically changed for everyone. I live in a studio in California and a little too close to my neighbors. I am allergic to antibiotics. I have however been on immune-boosting foods and vitamins over 10 years, so I am I quarantined and doing the best I can.

So of course, the panic sets in, sometimes for a moment and sometimes for a few hours as well as the pity party. Then reality comes back. People are dying, health workers are at risk and still do their jobs and think of all our first responders. My current situation although dire may turn around once the wave passes. I have been cooking more and since I have been even doing that professionally in my life, healthy is the way. That resulted in joining a friend’s online network: The Quarantined kitchen. Social media at this time can bring us the much-needed connections we are longing for to make the situation less crazy.

So many people are at home either working or not working. According to the Wall Street Journal “Employers are cutting shifts, suspending work and starting to lay off workers as the new coronavirus devastates business across the country”.

I am in contact with a friend that a long time ago worked with me at my entrepreneur projects Cindy’s an American bakery in Greece, which in fact was a result of me not finding adequate work while living there. She recently had her business destroyed in the Optical field because of the tornado that just hit Nashville. Her side hustle in the band is now not possible because of the quarantine regulations. So, I joined the Virus Social Distance group and try to be supportive of musicians and others going through similar struggles.

Locally I had been involved in the radio, music, art and culture wheelhouse. All of that at a standstill. So, The Quarantine Network on Facebook has coast to coast nearly 24 hr. programs. I put some friends together for that and will open the discussion about layoffs sometime this week. Scared beyond belief, as I am self-supporting. What genius idea do I have this time that will save me?

I have done a lot in Persian Rug World, so it was a perfect time to finish up my book draft, in fact, I sent it out yesterday. Look for a coffee table book called “Weaving Life”. I write for a few a site… so that keeps me sane. I was proud that one of the carpet cleaner folks posted a video of how to make sanitizer. A local distillery I know has changed to producing hand sanitizer. People are trying to do their best, thank them! I have friends that are providers, so I do my best to send them a message of support or something to make them smile.

Being of the entrepreneurial mindset and run with a 50/50 right and left brain thinking. I am convinced I will make it through somehow and in some way. Though the last time I was let go I applied to over 1500 jobs.  The website business, of course, will only grow with time. Currently, all my leads had been adventure and travel, restaurants and global businesses, who are seeing what will happen in the world before making that next move. OMG, the dev team has been slower in finishing up projects because everyone is panicked and trying to be strong. Think of all of us on this planet in the same situation. The virus doesn’t discriminate. According to the NY Times:

“The heir to the British throne, N.B.A. stars, award-winning actors and members of Congress. World-touring musicians, religious leaders and the loved ones of elected leaders. They are among the hundreds of thousands who have tested positive for the coronavirus as it has spread around the world. Many of the famous figures, by going public with their diagnoses, have helped put a face to the virus, sharing updates via social media and giving interviews about their symptoms and conditions.”

Think not that you are alone, think we are all in the same position, Wondering about our future.

So once the articles are written, I will finish my website for my hobby and passion in textiles. I am finally getting that going.  I have plenty of coffee, I have some toilet paper, I have time, I have ideas, and I have friends and food to last a couple of days. ( Sing to the tune of Talking Heads “ Life During Wartime” ).

If you like this and would like me to continue with” Life during Quarantine” let me know and I will keep writing. Stay safe!


Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
I took the less-traveled roads which led to many careers. Each of these contributed to my unique mix of expertise: science research, teaching, food, art, and textiles. Owning and operating my own businesses (a bakery, a gallery, and a consulting business) thrust me into the driver seat of learning many diverse roles from customer service to public relations and resulted in my unique management style. Participating in the creation of startups, working in design, and my own businesses and technology endeavors. My quest for knowledge and seeking out the best has turned me into a networking enthusiast. A lifelong passion for textiles and Persian rugs taught me an array of professional skills such as research, writing, and community events. Networking resulted in a multitude of business opportunities. My experiences include Management, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Design, Descriptive Writing, Business Strategy, Color, and Textiles. Every facet of my work and life comes together like pieces of a puzzle. I strive to be a phenomenal networker and problem solver who continues to learn and grow.

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