The Southwest Journal is documenting the coronavirus pandemic by recording the personal stories of Minneapolis residents and workers whose daily lives are in a state of flux. As the outbreak evolves, we will be checking in with the participants regularly. Read all of the stories here.
All interviews are conducted over the phone, and conversations are edited for length and clarity.
Jesse Vasquez, Uptown resident
I was working at Jax Cafe in Northeast Minneapolis around 25 to 30 hours a week. I was working Fridays and Saturdays. Every Sunday I would be there for brunch. I would have a Tuesday morning shift. My partner was working the opposite. I’ve just grown to like it so much. I could see myself being here for a really long time. It’s just a good atmosphere to work in, too.
I got the call last Monday that the restaurant completely shut down because of the virus. I was shocked. You’d hear about it in other places. You’d hear how things are starting to close down. Because Jax has been around so long, we thought it probably wouldn’t happen as soon as it did. It’s not fun not to have something scheduled to do for the day.
With the virus, it’s kind of like breaking up the family. It’s being at home a lot. You can only wash the dishes so many times and deep clean the house so many times. Luckily, we have dogs so we can go to the dog park, but there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do. It’d be easier if the restaurant was open.
The major thing is figuring out what’s going to come next. Day to day, we’re figuring out if anywhere is still hiring. It’s just difficult to know what’s going to be open for now and closed tomorrow.
I feel like we’ll be fine economically. We’ll figure it out, and hopefully it doesn’t last much longer. It’s going to be what it’s going to be for a while. It’ll get figured out hopefully.