Thousands ignore social distancing recommendations due to unemployment crisis

Posted at 6:04 AM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 06:04:50-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla -- The unemployment crisis caused by COVID-19 is being described as something we haven't seen since the Great Depression.

As we're all being urged to social distance, too many Floridians say that's just not an option for them. We’re watching people risk their health just to get their hands on a printed copy of the unemployment application.

Tuesday, long lines formed at a library in South Florida, and people certainly weren't standing six feet apart.

The plan was for this pick-up location to function like a drive-through.

Thousands desperately waited to get their hands on a paper copy of the unemployment form.
For many, risking exposure to COVID-19 seemed to be their only option to survive. They've had no luck getting through online or over the phone to file for unemployment.

Fox 4 told you Tuesday about a link to this application you can download, fill out and send to Tallahassee without leaving your home. However, some who lined up said they don't have the ability to print at home. Others hoped someone would be there to answer their questions, which wasn't the case.

"I went in the hopes that maybe I could get some help but unfortunately the person who handed me the application said no, they were only giving out applications" said Elena Sosa.

“I'm at the end of my rope. I don't think this is the way you should treat people,” she added.

The Hialeah library was one of several locations where paper applications are being handed out in South Florida.

The state is warning it may take longer to process the paper forms than an online application. 300,000 Floridians applied for jobless benefits in just the last two weeks of March.