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Service industry closures leave families in limbo | 'It's a strange feeling'

One Southeast Texas bartender is wondering where to go from here

BEAUMONT, Texas — From barbers to bartenders, it's tough times for those in the service industry and many are just hoping that better days are ahead so they can go back to work. 

Empty glasses and vacant venues that's the reality for service industries during a global pandemic. 

As time goes by, money runs dry. 

Crystal Chesson, a Mid-County bartender, says her family is running out of options. 

"We live check to check working as servers and bartenders so you know we don't have anything coming in not being able to be at work," Chesson said. "It's a strange feeling walking in there and seeing no one in there and knowing that no one is going to be in there for a while."

She's one of the many folks across the nation who are now out of a job because of the coronavirus restrictions put in place to decrease the spread. 

"It hurts, it does, I get really really emotional every time I think about this," Chesson said. 

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On Thursday, the US Dept. of Labor reported that nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, which is the most since 1982. 

Workforce Solutions Labor Market Analyst Lauren Van-Gerven says the coronavirus has drastically impacted the economy. 

"With this being such an acute event is really why we're seeing such a significant increase all of a sudden," Van-Gerven said. "Because there is not a clear timeline of how long something like this will. It's very hard for us to have a good idea of what's the medium or long term consequences will be,"

Consequences that are leaving people like Chesson wondering where to go from here. 

"I'm just very very hopeful that things are going to turn around and things are going to get better quicker than people are expecting, like I have to think that, like I have to think positive about that," Chesson said. 

Positivity in the midst of pandemic. 

Officials with the Workforce Solutions say March unemployment numbers in Southeast Texas won't be out until April, but they expect to see the same trend we're seeing across the country.