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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

'I Don't Always Feel Valued': Being A Home Daycare Provider During A Pandemic

Ambriehl Crutchfield
Lisa Lofton stands in front of her Mount Healthy home where she operates her daycare.

One in three women work at jobs that are deemed essential.

That's based on analysis of census data and federal essential worker guidelines.

For the past two months, workers at grocery stores, hotels and some daycares have continued to clock in during states' stay-at-home orders.

Credit Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU
Lisa prepares for her second shift of the day on a late afternoon.

WVXU's Ambriehl Crutchfield reached out to a black woman who has been the backbone to many of these essential workers. Lisa Lofton owns Lofton Daycare, which is one of 56 home daycares in the Cincinnati area that could stay open to serve essential workers.

She has limited the number of families she serves in order to ensure children of different households don't interact.

To hear how the pandemic is impacting her health, hit the play button below. 

Interview Highlights 

"I'm open from six in the morning generally to 12 at night. Servicing those children I'm on two separate shifts totaling between 16-18 hours a day. Generally Monday through Friday. I do accommodate some weekend hours."

"Sometimes we feel that we're not able really to take a break because people are always working. Personal time to just, you know, sit down and relax and take a vacation or take a day off, we don't really have that."

"The struggle of being a single black American, you know, trying to keep finances together, trying to raise children, trying to set certain standards and work is really difficult. And still at the same time trying to make sure that my mental health is OK. Sometimes as women are mental health is not where it needs to be."

"I'm just now learning how to take that time to make sure that I'm OK, if it's nothing but maybe 15 minutes a day, or maybe every other day, where I can just sit and relax and pray. I do a lot of praying."