This story was published in partnership with The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.
When COVID-19 came to New Orleans, Nicole Alston felt the impact immediately.
Alston, 45, is a home care worker who helps clients — often people who are older, or who have disabilities — do things like eat, bathe and get dressed.
Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
As her family’s breadwinner, Alston earns $8.50 per hour. The money’s barely enough. She and her husband are both diabetic. Her 19-year-old daughter, also diabetic, and 16-year-old nephew live at home with her. On weekdays, she takes care of three of her grandchildren.
Before the pandemic, Alston, who works through a home care company, saw