Coronavirus' effect on local workforce

By  | 

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - COVID-19 is taking a toll on many locals, especially those in the service industry in Panama City Beach.

"Shutting things down couldn't have come at a worse time,” said Ready. (MGN Image)

"Right now, I mean this is prime time. This is the start of the season,” said Panama City Beach resident, Jeff Ready.

But this season, things are definitely different.

"Shutting things down couldn't have come at a worse time,” said Ready.

Ready is someone who says he likes to work to live.

He has a tourism based software company, drives uber, and plays music at local restaurants.

"It's tough. It took away probably more than two-thirds of our income,” said Ready. “At least 75%."

Although he knows his feelings are shared by many.

"You know they had to shut things down, shut the beach down. Yeah, they could have always done things differently, but it was something that needed to be done. But in a tourist economy, it hurts everyone of us,” said Ready.

But he has a problem many others are not facing among rising coronavirus concerns.

A couple years ago he was fighting for his life. Now his compromised immune system is something he lives with every day.

"Anybody's that in a situation like we are, for us it really comes down to life or death,” Ready remarked.

He says he’s constantly wiping down surfaces and social distancing is a familiar practice in his household. With his prior illness, he says he’s learned something to help others look forward to a brighter day.

Ready says, ”We enjoy life, we enjoy everything that we have every single day so that in itself helps tremendously."

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.