Boone Co. native loses job to COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 11:29 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 15:33:32-04

It was a perfect storm for the Gardner family. Boone County native Markis Gardner lost his job and became stranded in a foreign country all within a few weeks' time.

He said the coronavirus is to blame for his recent misfortune, according to WCPO's media partners at WLEX.

Earlier this year, he decided to take his two kids on a four-week vacation to the Philippines. Then the coronavirus hit.

He was unable to get back to his home in China. Now he's been in Manila, Philippines, for two months. He said the government there has started its own crackdown by shutting down airports for a month.

According to Gardner, the coronavirus also forced the training center he worked for to close.

With no income and no job prospects, Gardner has started to worry.

"I have had no more money coming in, so I've been struggling very hard in order to spend as little money as possible in order to stay here as long as possible without any extra money," Gardner said.

With an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old to take care of, Gardner has tried to get an online training business off the ground.

Gardner said his savings run out at the end of April, and he is hoping to catch a break soon. Gardner, though, has no plans to return home to China.

After being in Manila for two months, he said he has come to love the city and intends to make it his new home.