Miami, How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Life?

Miami-Dade County is still enforcing its local mask mandate.
Miami-Dade County is still enforcing its local mask mandate. Photo by Adam Niecioruk/Unsplash
On March 12, 2020 — almost one year ago — Miami-Dade County declared a local state of emergency owing to the public-health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Bars, restaurants, and gyms were ordered closed on March 17. Non-essential businesses like barbershops, beauty salons, casinos, clothing stores, malls, and clubs shut down March 19.

Miamians mostly stayed home during the two-month period that the state was more or less shut down. County regulations slowly allowed some businesses to reopen in May. Then, in September, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered that all businesses could open and pre-empted local governments from enforcing restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, despite warnings from public-health experts.

Now, as we near the anniversary of the initial lockdown, we're looking back. We want to hear from our readers about the ways the pandemic has changed your life — or how it has changed nothing.

Do you mostly stay home? Are you out and about at restaurants, bars, and other businesses? Are you going to secret parties? How many masks do you keep in your car/purse/pocket/wallet? Do you wear your mask below your nose everywhere you go because you. simply. cannot? Are you having weekend gatherings with family and friends? Do you get panic attacks when you're around too many people at grocery stores? Are you still unemployed? How did you make working from home fun? Do you truly not give a fuck about the virus? Have you ever been confronted in public for not having a mask or wearing one improperly? Have you lost friends or family members to the virus? Are you still in mourning? Does it sometimes hit you out of nowhere that we're living during a plague? How have you coped? Did you come down with COVID-19? How are you doing? Have you experienced any long-term side effects?

Whatever story you want to share, we want to hear it. Send us an email at [email protected] if there's something you want to get off your chest. We promise to withhold your name from publication if you want us to, but your remarks may be used in a future New Times story, and a reporter might reach out to you to learn more.
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Alexi C. Cardona is a former staff writer at Miami New Times.