Danielle Klein, who has been a hair stylist for 15 years is “trying to avoid going stir crazy” in a lockdown world where her livelihood is not considered an “essential” one, where she is making “zero” money right now—and can’t apply for unemployment insurance because she is a contractor.
Klein works at Rock’n Hair in the Center of Escondido, (the one over the Lexus dealership.) She learned a few days ago that she wouldn’t be coming back to work for an undetermined time. “I have zero income coming in as of yet. Hopefully that stimulus check will come. I can’t do anything, or go anywhere. I can’t even get beauty supplies. If they caught me I’d lose my license or pay a big fine. I would get a warning and a hefty fine,” she says.
Because Klein is self-employed and doesn’t receive a paycheck or an hourly wage, she can’t apply for unemployment, despite being ordered to not work.
“The last time I worked was last Tuesday,” she says. “We are shut down. All the days are blending together and all the hours are blending together.”
She’s not hungry. Her deep freezer is stocked with food, but she’s concerned about bread, fresh vegetables and fruits. “In my fifteen years as a stylist, I’ve never encountered anything like this, except for the 07 fires when I couldn’t work because I couldn’t get to work.”
All things considered, Klein supports the shelter in place order. “I feel like that it’s hard to say. Either way you are at risk. You are at risk of losing everything, but if you open everything up you are still exposing people to the potential of getting ill. I think at the end of the day money is just money, but we need to be proactive and just stay home. As much as it hurts. I think what they are doing is right. It hurts. It sucks, but I think it’s the safest way.”