by: Diana Davis Updated:
ATLANTA - About 8,000 employees of Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control are out of work due to the shutdown.
Channel 2’s Diana Davis spoke to a married couple who both work for the CDC and have no money coming in.
The stack of bills for Felipe and Emily Lobelo is getting bigger by the day. Both employees are out of work due to the government shutdown.
Felipe, a doctor, works for the CDC's diabetes branch; Emily works for the influenza branch.
“We're hopeful that this ends and that we get to go back to work,” she said.
With the mortgage, car and student loans all due, the couple said they are considering filing for unemployment and asking their families for help. It is something Felipe, an M.D. and a Ph.D, never dreamed he would have to do.
“It’s certainly hard to do as a 35-year-old to have to have to ask your mother for help to pay the mortgage,” Felipe said.
Both told Davis they are trying to stay upbeat, but admit they're anxious.
“We've kind of hit this mode of there's nothing we can do about it we're really pretty powerless in this situation,” Emily said.
Felipe said the couple is trying to get in contact with their lenders.
“Instead of tracking diabetes, I'm tracking our lenders and trying to get a month off on our mortgage payment,” Felipe said.
Davis saw a handful of employees on the normally crowded main Clifton Road campus coming and going.
The Lobelos told Davis about 85 percent of the people they work with are now forced to stay home.
With flu season about to start, she worries not only about herself but the health of the public with so many in her influenza branch sitting are sidelined.
“If you think about your favorite sports team, if they've only got a few starters or half a field, what's going to happen? Certainly I'm worried about flu and any other diseases,” Emily said.
Both admit they are angry with Washington.
“The concept of a government shutdown is very difficult to explain. It’s a self-inflicted wound,” Felipe said.
Davis wanted to talk to someone the CDC about how the shutdown might affect this year's flu season, but because of the shutdown, she was told no one was available to speak.