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I Just Lost My Job Because Of COVID-19

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

But Fear-Mongering Is Frightening Me The Most

I am not a tech-savvy writer, fancy IT consultant, web developer, or UX designer. Neither a bachelor degree nor a high-skill profession can make my Medium profile look sharp, and relevant to most educated Medium writers and readers.

I am that blue-collar worker serving you a coffee before you kick off your day in your fancy office. I am that worker wearing an apron at your local cafe prepping your sweet chilli chicken wrap while you sit at your table staring into your high-end laptop. But also I am the local barista that you might not look me in the face when you pay your coffee. I am your event community service at an underrated suburb of Sydney. I am the jokes that you crack about working-class immigrants.

You can find me standing at the door scanning your conference ID, giving you the direction which venue to go when you are at your International conferences or summits. I am the one who works the odd job holding up a red balloon or lollipop sign for International conference delegates.

I am under the classification of the lowest income for Australians. My income is far below the suggested median income by Australia Taxation Office closer to $ 50,000, yet I live in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities on the planet. I am not here to brag about my income shortcoming or unsophisticated, hospitality job.

I just lost a booked job as a Brand Ambassador — the fancy name for event attendant for conference events — for Amazon World Summit 2020 at ICC, Sydney. I just got an email from my employer. Their client also cancelled their staff booking due to Coronavirus concerns. They say public health is the organisers’ top priority — yadda, yadda, yadda. I am among the lowest income earners living in one of the most expensive cities on the planet, yet I am among the first affected by Coronavirus outbreak.

Workplaces are making their plan for the possibility of the outbreak. Making their employees working from home sounds like a groundbreaking solution. But what is on the plate for an event worker like me? With the travel ban and limiting the public events, tourism and hospitality are among those who directly face the consequences of the Coronavirus outbreak. Many others lost their job; teachers for primarily Chinese International students, University tutors, workers for Chinese-Australian Accounting Firm, retail stores, Chinese restaurant workers and its owners. But for people like us who can’t work from home, no job bookings means no incomes. Now I am worried about many other event jobs ahead.

But fear-mongering is frightening me the most. Is it the beginning of the apocalyptic world we are living? It was just last summer I was walking under ash and dust rains from days of intense bushfires in my neighbouring bushlands.

I witnessed racial abuse on public transports, though we all know Coronavirus is not an excuse for racism and xenophobia. It all began with classic racism and xenophobia in our society; from public transports to hospitals targetting anyone with Asian appearance. What feed Australians racism and xenophobia have actually and historically ingrained in the history of the nation. The nation that forty-seven years ago legally ended the Australia White policy. So what’s new, Australia?

We are so accustomed to many forms of violence now. Recently domestic violence shocked the nation with a mother, and two children are burned alive by their estranged father, and now we are facing fear and social anxiety.

A recent youtube video of toilet paper brawl between two women just emerged. It happened at a supermarket in my neighbouring suburb. One woman begs for a package of toilet paper from another woman who hoards trolley full of toilet roll packages. It ends up with a violent fight over a bag of toilet rolls. Though the matter is in the police hand now, they made no arrest.

This morning I just came back from my local supermarket and found empty shelves of toilet paper. Shoppers are, out of their fear, hoarding toilet papers and piling up their food stocks as many as they can get from supermarkets. Now I am watching groceries shopping panic all over the world.

From bushfire to the invisible Coronavirus, it seems to me that we are living closer to the brink of the apocalyptic world. Though the complexity of the hysteria is hard to understand, it is ubiquitously visible. While our government is busy planning the stimulus package for affected industries and households, they have done almost nothing to come up to regulate their citizens from the uncertainties over the possibility of pandemic Coronovirus and needless, public panicking.

Now the dystopia world seems coming our way. Are we are all falling victims to our fear and social anxiety? Have all of these unfortunate events started from our inability to trust the government? In other words, Have we lost our confidence in the ruling government?

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