Halifax woman pens guide for those facing unemployment amid COVID-19 outbreak

A Halifax woman has created a handy guide for those facing unemployment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sarah Barbara MacDonald, 30, was the director of fund development at the YMCA Halifax until earlier this week, when she was laid off.

Finding herself unemployed for the first time in 16 years, she created a document with all the information she needed to manage the unexpected situation — and then shared it on Twitter.

"There's no roadmap for this," MacDonald told CBC's Mainstreet.

"I put together a little plan for myself, did a bunch of research just to see what is available for people who did lose their job because of COVID-19, and I looked down and saw my plan and thought, this is something I could share."

The guide includes information on credit card insurance, deferred student loan payments and how to apply for Employment Insurance.

It also encourages people to make four lists: things I must pay, ways to find or make money, things I could stop paying and payment that can be deferred.

"We all react to these things differently. Mine seemed to be to make a bunch of lists," said MacDonald, who also notes that she is not an expert on any of the information.

MacDonald said she has acute anxiety disorder, and so creating a guide helped her work through her emotions and put her mind at ease.

She said she hopes the document helps others, and the response so far indicates that it has.