LAKEWOOD — “Look at that,” said Dora Poqui, nodding toward her television as it flashed a preview of the evening news. “Every time I see the news. $5.27 for gasoline. I know our pockets are going to be hurting this week.”
In fact, Poqui’s pockets hurt most weeks lately. Gone are the days when she and her husband thought they might save to buy a home. The pandemic has landed hard on them, and now they share an apartment in Lakewood with her mother, who was dozing in a reclining chair, and her granddaughter, who was holed up in one of the two bedrooms down the hall. Instead of a house, Poqui now saves for meat and cereal, for a family member’s funeral in Mexico and, as an in-home caregiver, for the cost of driving a car.