The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pushed income tax filing deadlines to July 15, thus creating assurance and job security for employees at the Office of Tax and Revenue such as Returns Processing Assistant Armeshia Hogue.
Hogue, 32, is not only deemed as an essential worker during Covid-19, but unable to telework, as her position requires her to work in office. Working in the Returns Processing Administration File Unit as a full-time employee, normally requires an eight-hour daily shift for Hogue. However, since the spread of the coronavirus and government mandate for social distancing, most of Hogue’s responsibilities must be accomplished during the two days she is required in office.
Citizens’ personal information can not leave the office, and on work-from-home days, Hogue said “we have to email our boss to ‘sign in-an-out’ of work and check our emails.” While Americans are quarantined and need government assistance, the work of many government employees, such as Hogue, is critical to the economy.
On the flipside, Hogue is the mother of two, young boys. Normally, she balances after-school activities such as baseball-and-track practice for her boys along with cheerleading training or taking dance classes for herself.
Hogue is grateful for her guaranteed income and family support during this time. Her sister is able to care of the boys on the days she does not telework, so other than the decrease in social activities, “everything is working out well so far,” Hogue said.
Surprisingly, Hogue said she is not as stressed as she thought she would be.
“Mentally, I am continuing to do my same routines as before which was meditate, pray and take every moment needed, if I feel down, to rest,” she said.
“This time off has given me a chance to work on a morning routine. I still haven’t gotten one down pat yet, but that’s okay… as long as I am making progress, then I am happy.” Before Covid-19, Hogue said she had a “small routine,” however, she explained she “felt rushed,” because she never had time to “get it right.”
Despite the stress associated with this time of uncertainty, Hogue is thankful.
“God gave us a way to draw closer to him and focus on our personal lives, and I’m loving it,” she said.
One positive outlook can make a difference for many. While staying home as much as possible and focusing on our health, Hogue stressed the importance of area residents taking the pandemic seriously. While the situation may be different from the next person, the coronavirus has hit close to home.
“My son’s grandfather has tested positive so we are praying for healing that he comes home,” she said.
“I want people to understand that we have to take this serious. Staying home as much as possible but still focusing on our health. I work out everyday for at least 30 minutes,” Hogue said.