My Daily Life During The Pandemic

The first reported cases of the coronavirus in the United States was in January 2020. New York became the most affected state by the outbreak, confirming the highest rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country. According to a new study published on April 30th by Health Equity, The Bronx has twice more deaths caused by COVID-19, compared to Manhattan. And according to Statista, as of June 8th the number of COVID-19 cases in the Bronx spiked up to 3,219, causing the borough to have the highest number of cases in New York City.

My stepmother Leonor in quarantine, during the outbreak of the COVID-19. She is trying to calm the pain on her face due to trigeminal nerve damage. Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY, March 2020.

Bruce laying in his bed while reading the Bible. Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY, 2020.

During quarantine, Leonor has been able to spend more time with her daughter. Here, she is braiding her hair. Bronx, NY, 2020.

It has been pretty quiet outdoors. When schools started closing down and the government ordered a mandatory shelter-in-place, time went by quicker than usual. During the first two months of remaining indoors, there were moments when I didn’t know what day it was. Everything felt strange. Especially my sleep schedule. It was not organized. Sometimes I slept at dawn and woke up at noon. Or sometimes I had very little sleep. Since sheltering in place began, I have been feeling a lot of pressure about my future. My usual routine during quarantine is to wake up and make breakfast. I also have to cook dinner so when my dad and stepmother arrive home, they have their food ready. I also try to do homework but sometimes I can’t concentrate. It's like I have a lot of thoughts on my mind. One thing that helps reduce my stress is freezing grapes in the fridge and eating them. It actually tastes like ice cream, it's kind of weird but I think that's what makes them special and unique. I also love to take photographs of my surroundings whenever something interesting catches my eye. 

A wooden framed portrait of my family sitting on a stoop, on Walton Avenue. Bronx, NY 2020.

A woman at her windowsill looking out at the street, as she cannot leave her apartment during the pandemic. Walton Avenue, Bronx, NY, 2020.

A cashier and employee at Antillana Superfood on 170th and Jerome Avenue, taking the necessary precautions to control the spread of COVID-19. Bronx, NY, 2020.

After two months of remaining indoors, my family decided to go grocery shopping. Going outside after so long felt amazing yet unusual at the same time. Although I could breathe fresh air, I could also feel tension in the environment. I noticed around six to seven death memorials scattered around my neighborhood. There were restrictions in stores requiring people to wear masks and gloves, while remaining a six-foot distance between each other. If people did not follow those rules, they were not allowed to enter. As we went to checkout our purchases, we also noticed protective plexiglass in front of all of the cashiers. Also there was a purchase limit of two egg cartons per person. A week later, I went to pick up medicine for my stepmother. As I entered the 4 train on Jerome Avenue, I noticed the emptiness inside of the train cars. I saw a similar emptiness as I entered the pharmacy inside of NYC Health Hospitals/Metropolitan in Manhattan to pick up the medicine.

A few people are waiting for their medicine at the pharmacy, inside of NYC Health Hospitals/Metropolitan in Manhattan. New York, NY, 2020.

A memorial on Walton Avenue of two tenants who passed away in the month of April 2020 during the outbreak of the COVID-19. Bronx, NY, 2020.

My brother Bruce, eating a chocolate ice cream popsicle in my bedroom. Bronx, NY, 2020.

During this pandemic, I am able to share and value every little moment with my family, especially with my siblings. We have been taking advantage of staying indoors and spending more time together. We watch TV together, play poker and bingo. Personally, the time I spend with them is a way to escape from the reality of this situation. My family has been wondering about how it will be when all of this is over. Adjusting to remote learning has been difficult for my brother. In the beginning of quarantine, staying indoors for a long period of time and not being able to be with his friends had affected his school performance. Now, I feel like the pandemic has pushed him to be more responsible when it comes to his school work. My sister has been adjusting to the situation in the same way. She doesn't like quarantine but she understands that it is important for our safety. My father and my step mother went back to work recently. My uncle has been a very supportive person who I can rely on since the quarantine started. He was hospitalized for a week due to COVID-19 and diagnosed with diabetes. It was a difficult time for the family, because we could not visit him. When he got back to our apartment, he had to self quarantine for one week.   

My sister Karen works on her daily assignments for school, while learning to adjust to remote learning. Bronx, NY, 2020.

Frozen grapes on top of a newspaper article, on the kitchen counter. Bronx, NY, 2020.

My family cleaning dishes and playing poker at night, after coming home from work. 

Karen sits in her bedroom after taking a shower. Bronx, NY, 2020.

Karen uses eyebrow tweezers to remove white hairs from our dad's head. Bronx, NY, 2020.

Roman, sitting on a chair in the kitchen while looking at his phone after painting the walls in his room. 

Experiencing what it is like to be indoors for a long period of time has helped me value every little moment with my family, while having the opportunity to be safe. One thing I look forward to is graduating from hIgh school, even though I'm not having a prom or a ceremony. It makes me happy to know that I will be accomplishing one of my goals and closing a cycle of my life. I am nervous about going to college, but it's a new challenge I am willing to face.

A view from the fifth floor of my apartment after a rainy day. 

Using Format