The COVID-19 pandemic has struck a terrible blow to local and global economies. Many companies are struggling, a lot of them have gone belly up.
About two weeks ago, most of Ontario went into phase 3 of recovery. This means that employers who had temporarily laid off their staff are now able to call them back.
However, a three-month shutdown has not left companies unscathed, and in many cases business has almost ground to a halt. In the case of Mrs. Kicou's shop things are currently running very slow and there are no new customer contracts. Business with US-based clients is now nil.
They could barely call back 30% of their workforce and they made the remaining employees an offer: either 1. they remain on temporary lay-off in the hope that business will pick up and they will eventually be called back, or 2. they accept a termination offer along with a severance package.
Truth be told, Mrs. Kicou had been thinking for a while about switching careers: working at a metal shop is physically taxing; you breathe oil and metal dust all day long, which cannot be healthy even if you wear protective equipment.
So here was her exit ticket. She took the termination offer and as of today she is officially terminated. Papers have been signed this morning and we picked up her tools and personal belongings from the workshop.
This is not a catastrophe because we are so lucky that the pandemic has only hit one our jobs. It is a bummer that we have lost one source of income, but things are not looking that bad: we will be tightening our belts for a little while but we will make it through it like we always have.
In the meantime Mrs. Kicou will have time to spend on personal projects at home and in the garden (we are not short on things to fix around the house), and she is already making plans to visit her parents in France and spend a few months there to take care of her aging parents.
That is when it is safe to travel again.