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Home Care Workers Find Themselves Unemployed Because Of COVID-19


Until the crisis, June Freeman was doing a vital job. She provided home health care in San Diego. Six days a week, she visited a man with dementia.

JUNE FREEMAN: So I walk him in the park, feed him, doing puzzle with him.

INSKEEP: And also an elderly woman with a hip fracture.

FREEMAN: Giving her a bath or shower and doing exercise for her and feeding her before I go home. So that's the only job I know as a caregiver.

INSKEEP: A job she lost as people began social distancing.

FREEMAN: I am jobless now for two weeks.

INSKEEP: Her husband does maintenance for condos.

FREEMAN: I want him to stop for a while because he is exposed outside. But right now, he decided to work because if he would not work and I am not working too, how will we survive?

INSKEEP: June Freeman is an immigrant from the Philippines. Her grown children are in school in that country. She wants to send the money, so she's been sewing face masks to sell on social media.

FREEMAN: In a day, I'll be able to sell about $50, sometimes nothing (laughter) but at least there is a little bit.

INSKEEP: What's even harder is looking after her parents in the Philippines.

FREEMAN: It's scary because - I'm worried something's going to happen to them. I am not there if something happen, like if they will be infected.

INSKEEP: One reality of a global pandemic as experienced by a multinational family. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.