My name is Irna, I live in a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am a very strong and independent woman who fought her way through life alone. Here is my story of how COVID-19 changed my life.

A few years ago, I got an opportunity to work for an American company as an assistant. It took me three months to get a grip of how things work because the company was not that small and I didn’t have any experience. I would work 10-12 hours a day, staying after work, learning all about the platforms my company was using. I became good and then I was great at my job and even got a raise. I did this all while I was taking care of my four-month-old daughter. My husband and I were over the moon. He understood my need to be independent and was supporting me in everything.

Then the news started showing all these awful videos of hospitals full of people who contracted this strange virus called COVID-19. In a few weeks, my husband was on hold from his work, meaning he had to wait for this whole situation to pass before coming back. This meant significantly less income from his side. A few weeks after that, I got a notice from my company saying they can’t even offer me part-time because of the situation, but they said they would keep me working for a few hours a day.

We were crushed financially and emotionally! The only thing that gave us the strength to keep on going was our little baby. We couldn’t afford our apartment anymore, small vacations we used to take to the mountains, stuff for baby, etc. It took us a whole year to grow out of that bad situation. During that period we were supported by our family and close friends and I came to realize that being independent is great but having a family and friends that will help you when you need it the most, is the best feeling in the world.

I am currently working for a wonderful company and my husband got his job back. We got this!