The Virus Diaries: ‘There’s no real bailouts for us’


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A Portland female who operates a tiny hair-chopping salon worries about loss of money since having to close her store.

Editor’s note: The Virus Diaries is a collection in which Mainers communicate about how they are afflicted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Cindi Bartlett and her puppy Luci at Opus Hair Studio in Portland. Bartlett owns the one-chair salon and is nearing the finish of her second 7 days without get the job done or money. Image courtesy of Cindi Bartlett
Cindi Bartlett has been reducing hair considering that she was 16. Now 55, she has never had a boss, and for the past seven yrs has operated a one-chair salon on Newbury Street in Portland known as Opus Hair Studio.
She shut her store just about two months in the past simply because of the coronavirus outbreak and, like several Mainers, is nervous about the reduction of income.
“I in no way dreamed of something like this stopping my movement of money,” she explained. “I often thought it would be my rheumatoid arthritis.”
She said she has hardly ever been late having to pay a invoice, has an great credit rating ranking and life with her dog Luci in the property she owns in Portland. For two months this winter she took in her niece and her two youthful small children, who have now moved in with other kinfolk, but Bartlett simply cannot see any of them mainly because she is immune-compromised.
“I have composed the president, Sen. Collins, (Rep.) Chellie Pingree and more. What is heading to materialize to compact organizations like me with no employees? There is no true bailouts for us. When we don’t work, we don’t get paid.”
“I have customers who I like and I can’t hold out to get back again to function. I know they’ll be there, but it is a whole lot of catching up to do. I cannot use for unemployment. I simply cannot acquire on a further mortgage. So when I create to the White Residence, I question them to remember to try to remember us. We weren’t abundant. We weren’t receiving wealthy. We were being just part of the financial state.”
In addition to nimble fingers, Bartlett has honed another need of a hair stylist – the potential to spin a yarn.
“I’ve been telling my tales driving the chair endlessly,” she stated. “I’ve been composing journals because I was 11 but I’ve never experienced a lot more than a 7 days off at a time. Self-utilized people never choose a few months off.”
“So now I am ultimately composing the reserve I have constantly needed to produce, a memoir about my existence developing up in Portland, Maine. I’m applied to staying alone, but this is previously Week Two for me. I’m not certain how I will truly feel in two far more.
“I don’t know when I will at any time be in a position to repair my garage and do property advancements now. It will just have to wait around.

“I just did not put together for this.”
Do you have a story to share about how you are afflicted by the coronavirus outbreak? Email us at [email protected]

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