NEW YORK – It was laundry that broke Mary Shell. Or rather, the lack of an in-unit washer and dryer in her Brooklyn apartment where Shell, 37, a field producer for reality television, could barely afford her half of the rent before the novel coronavirus pandemic because work had been slow for months. Times are even tougher now that her roommate, also unemployed, has had to move back in with her parents.
Shell was so financially strapped that she began inquiring about various night-life gigs, only to see covid-19 close all the bars and clubs. (“So that’s another job you can’t do in a pandemic.”) Still, her situation might have been bearable if the nearest laundromat wasn’t four blocks away.