The majority of us have spent the last few months tucked away in our homes. Sheltered in place from the invisible enemy COVID-19. Soaking in the comforts of Netflix, ordering Instacart, filling our bellies with food deliveries, and our minds with insta memes.

We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and pretty much everyone has wifi here. It has been tough, but for many in the world our experience differs majorly. Even locally, our health and medical workers, government officials, emergency responders, journalists, and others have been out there battling. The last few months have been very different for them.

I’ve said throughout this interview series that I believe everyone has the potential to be a leader by stepping into their power and showing up however that looks for them. In a tangible way you have three tools at your disposal. Your vote, your wallet, and your voice.

I’ve been using the power of my wallet to support startups like cloudpaper.co for my toilet paper supply and continuing to shop small during COVID, and the power of my voice through this series and sharing on my social media. I try to be mindful of the broader conversation happening in the world while highlighting stories that are positive because even reading a brief headline during this time can have a huge negative effect.

When people feel upset it can be motivating force to action but the results of people being motivated from a positive emotional state are more sustainable and effective. I hope that this stories have brough you some happiness during these times.

Next up is Laura Barbosa, a bilingual millennial video journalist in Miami who is exploring micro-celebrity culture in our community in her short documentary series, I Am Miami. I chatted with her about how this time has changed her life.

How has corona changed your daily schedule?

Wow, there has been a huge shift. I’m not constantly running out the door. Although I would like to say that I get up early every day that is not the case! I think being quarantined has forced me to pace my day out. I find myself being really focused and productive at this time because I am trying my hardest not to force myself into production. I like to hop through different tasks throughout the day and let the creative energy come to me in a flow state vs. confined state.

What’s one positive thing you see as a part of this?

I think the one positive thing from our situation is that we will all come out of this better humans. Whether it’s having more appreciation for our friends/family that we couldn’t see or just becoming more empathetic to our conditions as people. I think the silver lining in this mess is the world realizing that there is more important things that just constantly overextending ourselves.

What Miami based organization(s) have been doing good things during this time?

Grails Miami and Bar Spanglish having been providing free meals for the community since the beginning of COVID regulations.

What can we learn from this situation as a community?

We can learn that we are not bulletproof. Just because Miami is a paradise does not make us immune. A lot of times people have the “it’s not going to get me” mindset about everything. But this situation is something that is already among us, so as a community we should learn to take better responsibility for our actions.

How do you feel about the restrictions placed on our community by the government?

I am not completely bothered by them. I know the lockdown hours can be a bit traumatizing for some who think it is too much regulation from the government, but I believe that there has to be a tactical way to organize the masses in order for the common good to stop the spread. At the end of the day restrictions are really just suggestions until you actually get in trouble. So I would say, if someone doesn’t like the restrictions, well, do something about it. Meanwhile, I’ll follow the guidelines and hope for a speedy recovery for our community.

To learn more about Laura and her project follow her on social: Instagram: @_iammiami @lauraalorenna and Twitter: @laurabarbosatv