A Day in the Life: Social Distancing with Hope Vista




It has been quite an interesting experience. Although COVID-19 has left me unemployed, I can’t complain about anything. I am safe at my mom’s house in New Jersey, and am grateful to have a place to be during this time that keeps me healthy. I’ve lived on Long Island for the past 4+ years, and New York is undoubtedly the most dangerous place to be as the epicenter of the virus. As an asthmatic, and having two roommates who are both essential workers, I left Long Island five weeks ago to come back to my childhood home in central Jersey, a place I haven’t lived in since 2015. Everything within these walls is the same, but being here feels both foreign and somewhat uncomfortable, most likely because what’s outside the walls is frightening. I am typically an extrovert-introvert, meaning that I am outgoing around people I’m comfortable with, but very introverted when I’m not in a familiar setting. I’m a big walker, and I thankfully have a large suburban neighborhood here that I can typically maze through without getting close to anyone (I stay 20-30 feet; 6 feet is toooooo close). 

The uncertainty is what’s the most uneasy - we have no real estimate of when it’s going to be safe to go home. Although mortgages in New York were not frozen and I’m still paying rent, it doesn’t feel right to whine about any of my circumstances. Multiple people that I know personally have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Some people are unable to receive unemployment. There are workers out on the frontlines, including multiple family members of mine in a hospital emergency room or at USPS, who are putting their own health on the line for those who are ill. Their braveness and strength are why we have seen so many recoveries. I sometimes feel like a coward, because I’m afraid to step foot inside a grocery store, while my cousin is forcing a smile through overnight shifts as an RN at a Baltimore hospital; she is the hero. These heroes are doing everything they can to get through the day on the other side, working through the layers of fear, and it feels as if our country has failed them. A pandemic is not political, and I think as a collective, we should all be focused on keeping these workers safe, healthy and well-taken care of. 



Although my creativity has been somewhat stifled in the quarantine, I’ve been trying to sort through options that allow me to maintain some sort of expression. Podcasting, staying active on social media, doing live streams with other artists, and teaching dance classes through ZOOM helped inject some type of creativity and passion into my days. I just uploaded my first video to a new YouTube channel, a reaction video. I haven’t done YouTube in almost 10 years, so I think that putting some of my restless energy into working on that avenue is going to be helpful in harnessing that creative side. It’s stimulating to try and work out ways to feel like myself. Exercising and weight training has been a big part of keeping a routine. We’re unsure of when I’ll be able to go home, but again, I’m thankful to be where I am.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and don’t do something that’ll put others at risk - this is much bigger than ourselves. Thank you so much to the frontline workers who are leading the way.

While practicing social distancing, check out my return to YouTube: