A teacher working remotely while also trying desperately to protect her elderly mother. A restaurant owner who watched business dry up.
A doctor treating a tsunami of COVID-19 patients, including some from her own family. A child welfare worker who worries about the kids she’s paid to help, and the ones she leaves at home.
The coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the lives of millions of women in New Jersey. Even more so for the ones who have suffered an immense loss — their jobs, their loved ones, their livelihood.
The numbers are staggering. Nearly 2.4 million women in the United States have left the workforce since the pandemic began, compared to 1.8 million men. And the mental health toll — 57 percent of women say their mental health is suffering compared to 44 percent of men, according to at least one study — is deepening the gender divide.
It’s been one year since the first coronavirus cases were identified in New Jersey. One year since 1.4 million school children were sent home for their own safety. One year since businesses were shuttered and unemployment numbers began to skyrocket.
To mark those anniversaries, to emphasize the toll they’ve taken, and to honor Women’s History Month — history that’s being written as we speak — NJ Advance Media interviewed eight women to tell their stories of how their lives have been fully altered by the pandemic.
But the stories don’t end there. We know countless numbers of other women in the Garden State…