Bastidas hasn’t worked in more than six months. And she can’t go back to the WilmerHale offices until the lawyers do.
Service workers like Bastidas were laid off in droves when white-collar employees fled their cubicles in the middle of March, and many of those lawyers, accountants, software engineers, and designers won’t be coming back to their offices until next year, if ever. WilmerHale just started allowing small groups of employees back in the building on a voluntary basis but hasn’t determined when it will fully reopen.
Without people commuting to offices in Boston and around the region, normally bustling business districts have become shadows of their former selves. Lunch spots and flower shops closed their doors. Parking lots turned into wastelands. With business travel at a virtual standstill, cavernous convention centers stand empty.
Many of the people who once kept these places running don’t have college degrees or are