ST. LOUIS — The service industry is already feeling the impact of people working from home and staying inside during the coronavirus pandemic.
One Uber driver at St. Louis Lambert International Airport called it a killer for business. Another driver said she’s noticing fewer passengers arriving.
"It's going to be bad. It's going to slow down quite a bit,” driver Kathy Miriani said.
Driver Kenneth Jenkins wore a mask to drop off his passenger from the University of Illinois. He disinfected the door handles – inside and outside – afterward.
"I'm just taking it serious. I don't want to be one of those ones that feels like it can't happen to me or it's not a big deal. It is a big deal,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said his Uber fares supplement his full-time job. He’s mentally preparing for going without his side-gig.
"This income might be compromised, but other than that, I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m blessed. I just keep that mentality and keep on trucking the best way I know how,” he said.
Some small businesses are deciding to call it — and close up shop.
The Hair Lab on Tower Grove Avenue in St. Louis closed its doors to customers.
"I just felt like it was our responsibility,” owner Emily Struckoff said.
She said she listened to the pleas from people who are immunocompromised or elderly.
“It's not good for business, but it comes to a point where the health of our community is more important,” she said.
No business means no employees get paid.
"It’s definitely hard to know I'm going without a paycheck indefinitely until we figure this out, but I'm 100% in support of the decision to close. It protects my clients and me,” employee Kait Barry said.
Barry said the financial worry can sit on the back burner for a while – but hopefully not too long.
"In my opinion it's better to be a good human,” she said.
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