Gloria is 20 years old and resides in Campbell, working as a caregiver. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was working in Florida as a cook for hotels and restaurants, but lost her job once the pandemic hit.

When this pandemic came, they [her employer] abandoned me. They wanted me to go home as soon as possible to the Philippines. They told me that I cannot work in there because the hotel will close. So I gotta go home. They only gave me a one week ultimatum. I asked them if I can stay here in the US, if I can still stay here because I have a relative and then… no. They insisted on me going home to our country. Right now, I’m still waiting for an update. It’s really like they abandoned me because it’s been three months since they last emailed me.

However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, she found it was best to move to California in order to stay with an aunt. Initially, she did not have any employment for 2 months. However, she was able to find work as a caregiver through a friend.

It’s like they wanted me to go home to the Philippines but I refused because if I will go home there, what will I do? I would just stay home, and then I will do a 2 weeks quarantine. What if I don’t go home?  What if I catch the virus? So I’d rather stay here and work. And then if everything’s okay, I can go home.

As a caregiver, Gloria works between 81-95 hours a week, and in order to get to her workplace, she has to use ride shares. The transportation costs associated with using Uber or Lyft for her have been expensive, and these services are not reimbursable at her workplace.

Photographer Credit: Kirsten Jill Aguilar

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