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Government Shutdown Affects Dimond Families

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On Dec. 22, the United States Government underwent a shutdown. This caused hundreds of thousands of government workers to either be furloughed or to work without pay.

Everyone from TSA workers to law enforcement was forced to go 35 days without pay, missing two paychecks. This is devastating to some families who need regular pay to stay afloat, and causes stress on the entire family of the ones who are affected.

Students at Dimond are no different. There are many Dimond parents who were affected, which left students scared about what was to come next for them.

Dimond Senior Shayla Blood said, “My mom works for the Department of Interior. She was off work for about a month.”

Some students’ families were down a working parent in the house for a month, which can cause major strain on their livelihood.

Blood said, “My mom is the main breadwinner of our family, and that was two paychecks. That was a scary thing for being able to cover bills and things like that.

“We had to rely on my dad’s checks and I even had to step in with my part-time job covering things as well,” Blood said.

Dimond Sophomore Taylor Heckart said, “Frustrated was what I felt the most. I was frustrated that so many people around the country couldn’t pay their bills and missed paychekcs because of something completely out of their control.”

Now that workers are returning to work, for the time being, they are left with the struggles and delays the shutdown caused and have to catch up with everything they missed with 35 days missed.

Dimond and ASD Parent Annette Heckart said, “Seriously it was very frustrating and stressful during the shutdown. It’s still stressful now that we’re back at work trying to catch up on a month worth of work with delayed projects and missed deadlines.”

If it wasn’t family, Dimond students were plenty stressed for close friends and anybody else in their lives who was without work.

Taylor Heckart said, “I wasn’t worried so much about my family as much since only one of my parents works for the government, but I was really stressed out and worried about other people that I had in my life potentially running out of money and being unable to buy food or pay bills.”

It was impossible to tell how long the shutdown was going to drag on for, which was unnerving for families who were affected.

Annette Heckart said, “This shutdown was very different from any of the shutdowns that I experienced in the past. The worst case scenario for me was that it would drag on for months creating financial hardships and affecting our health insurance.”

Taylor Heckart said, “Every day I was checking the news hoping for some news of a bill that had a prospect of ending the shutdown.”

The scale of which the shutdown affected Americans is monumental. One month of no pay could be the decider of the continuity of their current lifestyle.

Taylor Heckart said, “Nationally my fear was the same, I was really worried about the toll it would take on government workers who didn’t have enough savings to survive a month without pay and how it would affect them and their lives.”

Even though the government drama may be happening in Washington DC, the struggles and turmoil caused by the shutdown shows even in Anchorage, and even in Dimond High School.

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Government Shutdown Affects Dimond Families