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Miami during Coronavirus Lockdown

Elisa Benedetti H photography during Miami COVID-19 lockdown
Collins Av. during COVID-19 lockdown.

           Miami during coronavirus lockdown during this difficult COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamic of our sunshine city.                                                                 

 (Scroll down for Full Video) 

Miami’s Vibe

Our sunshine city is known for its multiculturalism, the hub city of South Eastern US and South America, and a paradise for most Europeans.

During the last 20 years, Miami has transformed into a cosmopolitan city with enormous real estate investments for both locals and foreign investors. It is the chosen city for Think-Tank millennials across the country that come to settle grow their business and raise their families.

It is one of the major cities for eastern winter birds’ retirement or second home investment. One of the major airports’ entry from Europe and Latam tourism and travel. As well as, a major port for both leisure travel cruisers and trade. Tourism, art, and shopping are among the many areas that now characterize the city of Miami. And yes, the beaches and outdoor sport still remain the number one attraction to millions of people every year.

Miami during Coronavirus Lockdown

As the virus was hitting northern Italy and President Trump declared a state of emergency, Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez took early measures. Progressively increasing until declaring lockdown for gatherings and stay home orders. For the first time Southbeach restaurants, Clubs & beaches were closed. Key Biscayne was the first to add a curfew and limit the non-residents coming into the island. All public parks and Bill Baggs State Park were closed. As people had a hard time adopting the new orders going into effect boat owners rushed out to the bay and Stittsville for fresh air, which then ended as a party which led to all Marina’s lockdown.

Weeks previously the entire city, as well as the entire world, was ransacked with people panicking and out of control. All stores were left without toilet paper, Lysol disinfectant, antibacterial gel, masks, gloves, and non-perishable food. People had a hard time adapting to the idea of being locked, therefore more and more detailed measured had to be enforced by the city officials as no gatherings larger than 10 people, beaches were closed to the waterfront condominium residents. All amenities on all condominiums were also closed from the gyms, pool, and clubhouses. Only essential business remained open,  restaurants converted into take-out food only allowing 3 people at a time, supermarkets controlled the number of people getting into the store at the same time. Until wearing a mask on the public became mandatory.

Miami-Dade authorities had not been very clear on the steps to follow, they, in fact, were not prepared by such an unprecedented global pandemic. The reality is that the entire world was caught off the ward, no one could foresee the type of decision-making and logistics that needed to be taken. And much less, the impact on the economy and recession that awaits ahead. How can you stop Miami International Airport? Or how can you stop the port of Miami with Cruise Lines at sea with thousands on board Or how could you tell small business owners they had to close? and the schools, banks, and government systems? Empty the streets? make people stay at home?

Miami's Lockdown By Elisa Benedetti H Lens

Elisa Benedetti H is a talented Venezuelan photographer, with a very special and sensitive eye for street photography. Her keen eye captivating details and special moments show her grade of excellence and sensitivity.

As COVID-19 took over Miami, Elisa felt the urge to express through her lens images of this real event that all of a sudden put a halt to our daily contemporary 2020 lifestyle. She took over the street of Miami to capture with her lens the importance and magnitude of the lockdown in Miami.

As we were working together and she would go and take her shots, Elisa told me “my photography speaks for itself, I want to show people how this pandemic has affected our daily life, create consciousness and let my pictures remind us and years to come how the Coronavirus affected everyone’s life”

Besides the video we put together, I share a few of her pictures and her quotes. She says,

” I just want people to see what COVID-19 quarantine has done to a city that is filled with cars, people, opened shops, and restaurants …”

The highway with zero transit (Miami 95 with 836 intersection exit 3A)
Lincoln Rd. with all shops and restaurants closed

the impact of seeing the streets empty with no cars or people… lines to go shopping, restaurants delivering food only…”

South Beach Trader Joe's line with people to enter
Mango's Tropical Cafe in South Beach closed for the first time in 29 years

“I want people that are locked in their home to see what Miami looked”

American Airline departures at MIA Airport

” the silence and emptiness of the streets reflected on my images is something we should never let happen again”

Brickell Ave. during COVID-19
Cruise Liners waiting offshore to disembark

” my pictures silently speak a million words”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mask became an order to enter public places

The Zaadam Cruise Ship from America Holland in Fort Lauderdale

The Zaadam cruise ship carrying coronavirus infected passengers is finally allowed to disembark ill passengers.  the US allows America Holland, the Zaadam cruise ship to disembark at the port of Ft. Lauderdale.  Authorities had prepared all the logistics to safely return all non-sick passengers back home,  as well as taking care of the four dead people by the virus and the ones testing positive.

President Donald Trump worked with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and military doctors “to take care of these people” and help “the humanitarian catastrophe.”

“We (couldn’t) let them float aimlessly into the ocean looking for ports as they’ve been doing for a long time and I made the decision we had to take them,” President Trump said.

The Zaadam, Holland America cruise liner at Fort. Lauderdale
Passengers at their balconies waiting to be disembarked

My Thoughts and Reflections in Times of Losses

As the 21st century advances on technology our new Fedex instant gratification style of life has made us disconnect from so many real factors. This pandemic is coming to reminds us how vulnerable we are, and how the essentials basics are more than plenty to survive. We are so used to all the distractions, the have to have’s and paraphernalia, that simple joys, calmness and reencountering become overwhelmingly difficult and even suffocating.

We are then bombarded by the news and chats, and by the emotions and anxiety, this horrendous experience is producing on each of us. Some become the critics, others minimize and others do not listen.

A global pandemic is an unprecedented event. Not a single executive power or government in the world was prepared or organized to confront the aggressiveness or the speed. The COVID-19 has shaken all the health systems of each country that have been attacked by the virus. This experience must lead to a serious remodeling of the health systems, of the medical equipment and gear, vendors and manufacturers as well as new health requirements at the time of traveling overseas or entering the US.

To all of those that are going through uncertainty and the fear of how the lockdown will financially affect you, your worry is valid. Many sectors of the economy are getting severely hit by the measures taken.  And, it will most likely require a lot of new sacrifices, focus, effort, and hard work to pull back. But if you did it once you’ll do it twice, you just need to remember what took from you to get there and do it again, on the end, the struggles make us stronger and the rebound is even more gratifying.

It is the human losses that this pandemic leaves us. The thousands of human life that are gone and the thousands of families and friends grief and distress. There no words of relief for such an unexpected loss. Only time and patience would help the healing process, for some healing is easier than others do not despair there is nothing wrong with grieving that is part of being human.

 

A year after the first US Covid-19 Lockdown

A year after, the world has suffered 2.5 million deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic. The US leading with 508 thousand people loosing their lifes.

There are no words to describe this terrible year. Thousands of families struggling with their grief as they were not allowed to be next to their loved ones on their last hours. It is a year of mourning as we have all experienced somehow the effects of loosing a family member, a friend, doctors, public figures, and even our favorite sport or entertainment idol. The disease raged without social or ethnic disparities across the world.

Turmoil and Life Change during 2020

The pandemic in the US was caught up in the middle of a very difficult election year causing terrible misleading information and devastating political desicions over common sense, and the right things to do. Both government and private entities added salt to the crisis.

On the other hand, the lockdowns added a social effect on people, finding themselves 24/7 together as families on small areas. It shook the dinamic of all households, with parents working and children going to school remotedly. The biggest impact were on those living on small apartments. But it was the self-employed and small business owners who got hit the hardest, the lockdown meant no income or means to sustain their loved ones. At the end, the mandatory lockdowns left millions without a job and thousand of small business closing.

Covid-19 accelaterated the use of new technologies and introduced a new way of working. Major corporations as well as schools are now facing new alternatives by working or attending class remotely. The introduction of this new phenomenon has changed the way we envision a workplace for many. For some Corporations this new way of working has permantly re-shaped their working dinamic as well as their needs for formal physical space. This is marking the begining of a new socio-economical structure as well as demographic gauges.  During 2020, the housing market was impacted by it, across the US people fled larger cities relocating in smaller suburbs or smaller cities looking for single-family homes adopting larger living space and privacy, while working remotely. 

The government and the Federal Reserve intervention prevented a total collapse during the crisis. With stimilus check for the people and SBA Loan for the businesses, plus the mortgage forbearance and eviction moratorium, and all the financial instruments mechanisms it adopted by buying securities, lowering interests, and many more. It certainly motivated real estate and refinancing all over the country.

Now a year has passed and we ask ourselves where is the financial crisis? why the stock market has been booming? is this another bubble? the government continues printing money? our economy has no GDP growth to sustain the printing? where is this all heading towards? 

Lots of questions with many different answers. The only real situation is that a crisis solution is not a straight line. The most prestigious economist cannot provide a safe solution without some consequences. Most do agree that the measures are to make the aftermath effects on the economy at a more gradual scale.  

Now, what is going to happen when the mortgage forbearance and eviction moratorium are not sustainable or interest start rising ? sooner or later it will hit us all. Today, I share George Gammon’s great explanation here. In time of crisis the only thing you can do is listen from experts and try to prepare for the worse and hope for the best!

Vaccination the Real Light at the end of the Tunnel

A true miracle! everything that was done to propell the findings of a vaccine has been unprecedented. 

When we look at history and other pandemics we can acknowledge the mesmerizing advances technology has brought to human kind. In a period of 2 to 3 month worldwide laboratories had different version of vaccines and by the end of 2020 the first vaccination campaign was being implemented. 

The fact that companies like Novavax a small czech manufactured raised 2.75 billion from Takeda Pharmaceutical, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, the Serum Institute of India to finance the indian Praha Vaccines, for use

A year after Covid-19

in  India and throughout Asia. AstraZeneca the European giant has contracts in places to manufacture up to 2 billion doses during 2021. Johnson & Johnson was the first to receive in early march, 2020 a $456 million check to help develop a vaccine. The company later reached an agreement to supply 100 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. government in 2021 in exchange for $1 billion. Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline got $2.1 billion contract with the federal government, the two companies plan to manufacture up to 1 billion doses of the vaccine by 2021. Moderna the company announced a $1.5 billion deal with the U.S. government back in August to provide 100 million doses and started vaccination on late December 2020Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine phased a big challenge, it must be kept frozen at negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit during shipment and storage. Nevertheless,  29 million doses of its two-shot vaccine had been administered in the U.S by January 31, 2021. 

The period of vaccination might be longer than we expected to achieve a world without Covid-19 but the fact of having a medication that can help minimize and eventually irradicate this disease brings all the hope we all needed. The findings of a Covid-19 vaccine has been an incredible demostration that the world can come together and truly find solutions beyond our color of skin, gender or political views. It is a true miracle in disguise!

“I dedicate this post to all the ones that lost their life by the COVID-19 pandemic. To
the Doctor, medical staff and facilities that fought and keep fighting. They are our heroes. “
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