DAYUMMMMM I literally cannot believe we have spent the last several months sequestered to our homes. How’s everyone doing out there? No like for real, ish got super real, real quick.
Now that we’re settling into a post COVID life, I’m starting to zoom out on the experience and see what the day to day will look like. When I want to understand a situation I take time to reflect on what happened. Writing is an excellent way to do this, talking with friends and family, or even just setting aside some time to think to yourself.
Reading the experiences that others have had can also be a great way to smoothly transition, see what others went through, and realize that you likely are not alone in any of the feelings and thoughts running through your mind. In this edition of COVID Chronicles we’re taking a look back at one Miamian Melanie (Mel) Somoano’s initial thoughts to the shelter in place order.

How has corona changed your daily schedule?

I am currently unemployed so looking for a job has been more difficult than usual. I was working a few side jobs for events but there hasn’t been any events to work due to the shutdown. Financially, it’s a scary time for everyone. I’m only 1 of 15 million Americans who are currently unemployed.

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

I’ve had more time for creating art and really connecting with my spirituality. I’ve been meditating in my backyard and practicing yoga. I’ve also learned a few more new skills like poi spinning and gardening. Its really helped me get my body moving, I’ve enjoyed it so much!

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

(F)EMPOWER, also known as @fempowermia on instagram, are queer culture shifters creating a radical feminist awakening in Miami. Currently, they’re accepting donations like care packages or food and donating them to those that are in need during this time. They are also accepting grocery lists for those who have compromised immune systems.

What can we learn from this situation as a community?

I think it can teach us to not forget to stop and breath every nw and then. Everyone is so caught up in their lives and now they’re being forced to stop and take a look around them. The world is bigger than just you. Personally, I think it would be cool if we came out of this more conscious of others and what could be going on in their lives. Remember to give back and take care of our planet.

Mel is a Cuban-American who grew up in Westchester Miami, living off the food from my grandparent’s restaurant Rio Crystal. She is currently studying Ux/Ui design online at Flatiron School. In her free time she enjoys painting, writing, and playing video games to let off some steam. To learn more about Melanie or enquire about her UI/UX skillset contact her on LinkedIn.