I have to count myself as one of the more fortunate ones. I am lucky enough to not have missed a paycheck, so far, during this pandemic. Much luckier than some, especially those in the hospitality industry.

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For example, Tom Jermann a waiter at an establishment he would rather not name, and also works catering events says  “I'm walking on thin ice here, the last of my savings went to paying rent for December”.

Tom is certainly not alone.  With in dining "on pause" people like Tom in the hospitality industry are struggling. I can just imagine the stress and anxiety this is causing to many in our communities.

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Earlier in the pandemic Tom says he was able to make it with the $600 weekly checks but lately, it's been a different story  “There’s no latitude for something to happen,” Tom explained. “If I have to do work on my car, I’m just not going to have a car.”

He expresses disappointment in the state for not kicking in to help the hospitality workers. “Every day more households are falling off the edge and the more we allow to do that, the longer it will be before we are all economically whole again.

“It just twists my gut. What’s going to happen next? Will they take action to assist people like me? I need the help. I guess that we’re going to cross our fingers and hope Washington can put something together,” Tom said.

We can only hope this all eventually ends and these people like Tom can return to work. Which makes it all the more necessary to help keep restaurants afloat by ordering delivery and take out from your favorite places to insure these workers have a place to return to when things get better.

(BOREAL/ Mark Zdechlik/MPR)

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