‘The Anxiety Is Crippling': Your Concerns About the Coronavirus Outbreak

NBC10 Boston asked viewers to share how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting their lives, and the answers touched on health, family, jobs and more


On Monday, NBC10 Boston asked readers to share how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their lives and what their biggest concerns are. 

The 59 responses that we initially received came from people of different ages and circumstances who live all across New England. 

About one-half of respondents said they are concerned about personal health and their families. About one-third said they are concerned about job repercussions, personal finance, the economy and the government’s response.   

Several respondents who have compromised immune systems or live with someone with a compromised immune system told NBC10 Boston that they are worried about staying healthy themselves or for someone they love. 

"The anxiety is crippling," one respondent wrote. "We are a family of six. My husband is severely immune comprised as well as my 2 year old who both have cold like symptoms. The constant monitoring and fear and anxiety is overwhelming not to mention homeschooling, parenting, and [paying] the bills since my husbands hours have been cut." 

The coronavirus has been brushed off by some who are not part of the most vulnerable demographics: the elderly, ill and immunosuppressed. Patty Sandoval Sralla, a double lung transplant recipient from San Antonio, Texas, shares what it’s like to live with immunosuppression during the coronavirus pandemic.

Other respondents with chronic illnesses noted their inability to receive the care they need while social distancing. New data recently revealed that people with chronic illnesses and other health problems have a higher risk of becoming ill from the coronavirus. 

Some respondents noted the difficulty of working from home or not being able to work at all.

“I work in the museum industry as my husband works in the restaurant industry," wrote one of the respondents. "I and the vast majority of my friends are laid off without pay, or with very meager compensation. We are terrified about providing for basic necessities, never mind paying rent."

It's a terrifying time for small business owners, who have seen their incomes plummet. What can we do to help those businesses stay afloat?

Another respondent told NBC10 Boston that they were laid off from a job they held for 15 years with one day's notice. 

Small business owners cited their anxiety over surviving the outbreak when business is slow and large gatherings are not allowed.

"My family owns a catering business. It is not looking like many catering companies are going to make it through this. It is heartbreaking," wrote another respondent. "All of the big events for the year are booked in the spring. What now? Everybody talks about the strain on employees. What about employers? My family is losing everything."

Recent coronavirus-related layoffs have led to a surge in jobless claims. The United Nations' International Labor Organization estimates that fallout from the coronavirus outbreak could lead to nearly 25 million job losses worldwide.

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