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She Supports 8 People On $480 A Week And Is Figuring What Payments To Defer

Dyan Navejar supports eight people on a weekly wage of $480. She's the only one in her family who's still able to work.

That's because she can do it from home, answering customer calls as a call center operator in Lexington, Ky. Her husband lost his job as a dishwasher at a restaurant.

Navejar's pay isn't nearly enough to both make rent and also feed five children and one grandchild, all living in one house. So they sometimes eat variations of the same things, like hot dogs, to try to conserve their cash.

"Food — that's the biggest thing in my household right now. These kids can eat," she says.

Navejar is now trying to figure out which bills she can defer and which ones she can't. Her utility allowed her to skip payments, given her family situation, and said her services wouldn't be cut.

But her landlord, who has to meet his own mortgage payments, told her: "Business as usual."

Read more stories in Faces Of The Coronavirus Recession.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Science Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C. She started covering consumer health in the midst of the pandemic, reporting on everything from vaccination and racial inequities in access to health, to cancer care, obesity and mental health.