What I Learned While Traveling to 20 Cities Throughout America During a Pandemic

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What I learned while traveling to 20 cities during the pandemic of 2020? I think the first thing I noticed was how normal everyone yearned to be by sometimes giving themselves the mindset of “This is just like a flu; we can get through it”. Oftentimes I would hear flight attendants make jokes like, we probably already had it” to give them self-confidence and courage to keep going.

The pandemic project cast and crew.

A lot of people were upset, a lot of people were angry, and some people were thinking that this would really ruin their lives. Others were angry for a different reason, the loss of a loved one. I witnessed people going about their business like nothing was happening in our world, as if nothing has changed. There was denial, drinking, and a lot of zooming in pajamas. People missing their family members and resorting to drive ins, carry outs, and “only fans”. Streaming television hits hits included ” Love- Craft- Country, The Tiger Kings, and Ratchet.

Finding a way to enjoy Halloween by using candy shoots to keep a healthy distance, grandma is using plastic hug booths to see grand kids. Many things changed for business owners during this time as a lot shifted to online stores. Some businesses closed forever. Many businesses are having to change the way they do things and make a permanent shift into a full e-commerce existence.

Many institutions and businesses we thought would be around forever closed because of the pandemic. I witnessed accounts of people losing their life savings, file bankruptcy, break up with their significant other and feel completely at a loss during this time. What can we learn from this? Is there any way to secure a business during a natural disaster like a pandemic? What can we learn for the future in securing our world and our business and our lives?

The pandemic project cast and crew.

I did a survey online through social media and a lot of people have shared similar things that had come out of the 2020 pandemic that were positives in their lives like starting multiple businesses to doing better than ever, while others look to the basics and the simple things-appreciating all they can and holding.

Finding time to zoom with friends and having health for the year and not contracting COVID-19. One online friend shared that nothing was great about 2020 and that they were just thankful to have survived that far into the year. Another friend, Chris Moore lost his father to Covid-19, while I witnessed another friend lose her father in a nursing home in New Jersey to the corona virus.

The pandemic project documentary poster.

What I would like us not to forget in this historic moment in time and to highlight, and really drive home- is something that I figured out that I already knew and needed to relearn is, that humans will always have adjust to the circumstances. We rise and we make do, we push against and embrace. We love, and we hate, we feel free and we feel masked. But we do not stay in one place for long, we learn, and we grow.

As we enter a new year with some old issues lingering, a nation divided and exhausted from the multiple pandemics hitting the United States I am setting my sights on the rest of the world. “If they let me in, I will come”, is my 2021 mantra as I wear the scarlet letter of being an American traveling abroad while brushing off my passport for entry.

I am letting my curiosity take me to Rio De Janeiro, Morocco, Madrid, Venice, Bali, Sydney, London, to name a few cities internationally to feature the international response of the Covid-19 response and how people are navigating everyday life. On NYE 2020, The Roku Channel featured my film trailer “The pandemic project documentary” The American Chapter, as a LIVE event. Link to the trailer:

This article is dedicated to all the people we lost to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, you were here, and you will not be forgotten as someone somewhere on the planet is thinking of you, loving you and missing you.

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Monique Lore` Stinson

Monique Lore` Stinson is a 2x Emmy award winning producer and entrepreneur. Owner @capaquariusmedia@latchkeykidfilms currently an on air podcast Host on LA Talk Radio's "The Start- Up" with Monique Lore`.


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