In the Before Times, Jenna Mason had been cobbling together enough money as a freelance writer and restaurant server to support herself and her two kids -- she has shared custody with her ex-husband. When the world ground to a halt in her town of Oxford, Mississippi, the life she’d built for her family -- and the confidence she felt in herself -- came apart … not in one big crash, but in a cascading series of crises, one leading to another leading to another.

On the one year anniversary of the pandemic shutdown in the US, Jenna talks about financial precarity, her mental health struggles, navigating unemployment and how she’s found a way to keep going.

This episode is a collaboration with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and The Guardian. To read a print version of this story, go here.

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