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Nanny Tries To Figure Out How To Make Up For Lost Work

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're hearing this week from some of the millions of Americans who are struggling financially. Social distancing has eliminated the jobs of some domestic workers, including Heather Clough (ph) of Whitman, Mass.

HEATHER CLOUGH: So I work as a nanny with these two wonderful kids who are 3 and 5, and it's been really hard not being able to see them.

INSKEEP: Ms. Clough says the kids love coloring and being read to. There's something that she loves, too.

CLOUGH: I love the hands-on approach to things. Plus, the one-on-one with the kids is wonderful because I can focus on just what they need, and I've become part of the family. They call me Auntie.

INSKEEP: Now the hands-on approach is not an option. The parents she nannies for are both out of work. They are paying Clough what they can, but can't afford much.

CLOUGH: Hopefully, with the stimulus, when they get the extra unemployment money, they'll be able to pay me at least three-quarters of what I was making so I can pay my bills.

INSKEEP: Now, she also co-owns a craft shop, which is closed. She's using that space to sell masks for nurses, and she is trying to support her 12-year-old son.

CLOUGH: It's day to day. I mean, we, my family and I because my son and I live with my parents and my brother. My son is autistic, so he needs the extra support. We kind of make it work as a team as much as we can.

INSKEEP: She also has to think of her son as she considers ways to bring in extra money.

CLOUGH: Some of our local businesses like grocery stores are hiring people to stock overnight. I'm considering doing that just to have some form of income, but at the same time, do I really want to expose myself to the possibility of getting sick and bringing it home?

INSKEEP: For now, she spends some time getting on video chats with the kids she nannies to tell them how much she misses them.

CLOUGH: We're going to get to go do fun stuff soon, but we need to stay safe and follow the rules, which is something that I emphasize all the time to them because they're both little daredevils.

INSKEEP: Heather Clough of Massachusetts, trying to get by.

(SOUNDBITE OF ROCKET MINER'S "MY FRIEND COMA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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