Daniel Barry had three jobs.
After an order by Gov. Mike DeWine on March 15 to prohibit dine-in service at Ohio restaurants and bars to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Barry lost all of them.
Barry, a resident of Columbus’ Westgate neighborhood, bartends at the Athletic Club of Columbus. He also barbacks for Goodale Station Rooftop Bar & Restaurant on Nationwide Boulevard and occasionally bartends for Otherworld near Reynoldsburg during concerts.
All three establishments, he said, have told him he would have his job back after dine-in service is restored.
Barry, 23, is one of many central Ohio residents in the food-service industry affected by the March 15 state mandate.
The food-services and drinking-places industry employed 440,400 Ohioans as of February, and that figure is not seasonally adjusted, according to Bret Crow, a spokesman with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
On March 26, the U.S. Department of Labor reported 3.28 million residents across the country filed for unemployment during the week that ended March 21, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The 3.28 million figure broke the weekly record of 695,000 claims in October 1982, the Dispatch said.
Ohio claims in that week ending March 21 totaled 187,784, the Dispatch reported.
Crow said the state’s monthly unemployment-rate figures for the entire month of March would not be available until April 17, but the most recent monthly report, released March 27, said the unemployment rate for February was 4.1%, with 238,000 workers unemployed.
When asked when the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services would know the complete jobs fallout from the pandemic, Crow referenced a statement from the department.
“Given the reference periods used for both data surveys (the calendar week that includes the 12th of the month), an effect on these economic metrics may not be seen for several months,” the statement said.
Barry said he was working at Goodale Station on March 15 when DeWine made the announcement about closing dining rooms.
“That was pretty surreal to watch that fallout,” he said.
Since then, Barry said, he has been applying for call-center jobs and other jobs that would allow him to work from home. He said he has found hunting for jobs that match his skill set tricky when he has been doing nothing but serving and bartending for the past five years.
He also has been volunteering with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Grove City and local food pantries, he said.
Barry said he filed for unemployment March 24.
“I know a lot of other people are struggling with it,” he said.
Barry said many servers and bartenders do not have a financial safety net, and they often live day to day on their income, rather than paycheck to paycheck.
“That’s what scares me,” he said.
Barry said his own safety net is smaller than he would like. He has enough money to get by for a couple of months, he said, because he “didn’t expect this.”
Columbus resident Lydia Jones was a part-time server at Wedgewood Golf & Country Club in Powell. The 24-year-old said she had been planning on taking some time off work, but she was notified midway through the week after March 15 that she was without a job.
The country club told her that she could have her job back when it reopens, she said.
The country club is Jones’ part-time job; she works full-time as a counselor for the Graham Family of Schools charter schools.
She said she used the extra income from the country club to pay for student loans accrued from attending Ohio State University for a master’s degree.
Jones said she was planning to work at the country club over the summer and put the money into savings for emergencies.
“I don’t know how that’s going to work now,” she said.
Also on hold is her plan this summer to move out of the place she shares with two roommates and find a home of her own. Jones said that without the money from her country-club job, she does not feel comfortable pursuing new housing.
Jesi Miller, server and bartender at Ghostwriter Public House in Johnstown, also lost her job.
The 35-year-old Johnstown resident has been with the fledgling establishment since it opened Nov. 15. Her evening hours allow her to avoid paying for a baby sitter for her children Emma, 5, and Max, 6 months, she said.
Her husband, Jon, still has his insurance job, she said, and is able to work from home. While the family had been accustomed to a single income, they had gotten comfortable with the extra money she had been making since November.
As of March 30, Miller said, she had been trying for two weeks to sign up for unemployment benefits without any luck. She had thought that the extra money would at least cover groceries, she said.
“But now that I’ve gone two weeks with no income, it’s getting scary,” she said.
Miller said she has been volunteering at Ghostwriter, assisting with carryout for as long as the place is able to keep up with it.
She said she is hopeful she can return to work at some point.
“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” she said.