Recession Worries

My neighbor Brandy lives exactly four floors above me. Our apartments have identical layouts, and our beds sit in exactly the same place inside our apartments. When we sleep, GPS (Global Positioning System) would not be able to differentiate her location from mine.

Brandy introduced herself to us on the day my daughter Anna moved into the building thirteen months ago. She’s one of the first people we met that day.

And when it came to the corona virus, she saw it all coming. During Mardi Gras, she thought, all those people, crowded all together like that. She knew it was just a matter of time.

But now Brandy’s worried about recession.

“I get Social Security Disability. I’ll still get a check. But I’m thinking of people in my family who have to work for a living.” She also worries about increased prices, noting how milk and eggs have gotten dramatically more expensive already.

Brandy goes outside for three reasons — to smoke, to take walks, and occasionally to shop. “I just can’t just sit in my apartment. I’ve got to get fresh air and just get outside.”

But even though her father lives just four blocks away, and her mother and brother also live in the community, she has not seen her family since everything closed down. “They’re being paranoid. They’re staying in.”  

And she’s being proactive too. “I’m keeping my hands washed. I wear gloves outside. I eat healthy. I take a multi-vitamin. I take fish oil. I take care of myself. I get regular sleep every night. I go to bed at the same time. I get at least eight hours of sleep. My health is generally pretty good.”

Brandy enjoys drawing and making jewelry.

Up until March 20th, the company that manages our apartment complex employed Brandy part-time to clean the public spaces. Bright and early every weekday, she mopped the lobby and elevators, vacuumed the carpeted halls, cleaned the laundry room, and washed the glass door entries. But even working half time, her feet suffered, and at the end of February, she gave three weeks notice.

Within days, the difference was noticeable. The building’s office, which previously was open twice weekly — if that — has been closed completely for about two weeks now. A cleaning crew came in today for a quick clean-up, but they said we probably would only see them about once a week. We’ve been told, as long as the social distancing rules are in place, Brandy’s replacement can’t be hired. This too is a cause for worry, for all of us.

Brandy was brought up in the Jehovah Witness faith and never was Catholic, yet she reveres the Virgin Mary, because she was highly favored by God. Pictured here is a miniature of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Aztec mother. Brandy now sees herself as nondenominational.

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