Wishing, Wanting, Waiting, Hustling – Covid diaries Pt.1

We’ve been living in a constant state of uncertainty for over two years now in a way that none of us ever could have imagined other than as such a seemingly implausible idea that we would make films about it. So much of what we knew and loved in our daily lives was suddenly ripped from us and everyone has their Covid story.

This is a piece of mine.

So here I was, deciding to uproot my life and take off to another country to chase a dream. January 2020 hits and I’m a music journalist, primarily working as a photographer and reporter at concerts and other music-related events. That’s when I embarked on my spontaneous journey into uncharted waters, not knowing what the world was about to face, or that this particular dream was about to change my life forever.

I packed my life, my records, and my dog Moka into my 2005 Honda CRV, Betty, and we headed out to where the music and our immediate future were – Chicago, Illinois. Little did I know, we would only spend a couple of months there before we headed on another 13-hour cross-country drive over to New York just in time for Covid. Even more, I was about to contract the virus in its earliest days.

Betty at a roadside stop in Ontario, Canada.

Betty got us all safely from Chicago to New York with stars in our eyes, firmly pressing her horn down as we crossed from the New Jersey Turnpike into Manhattan over the George Washington Bridge blasting ‘No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn’ and belting out the lyrics in celebration of our exciting journey ahead. We were there – we made it. We were going to spend every weekend exploring the East and West Villages. Two concert photographers in the music capital of the world. The possibilities were endless and the dreams were bigger than the buildings.

Alas, the pandemic was much, much, bigger.

We moved to New York the first week of March 2020. We spent a couple of weeks fixing up our apartment in Brooklyn and went out on the town for one amazing dream-like weekend. Then, as I picked my classiest outfit out of my closet and spiced it up with a dazzling scarf, I thought “I’m almost ready for the Broadway show tonight! Let’s double-check the time and make sure the tickets are ready!” This was when it all went to s***. I open my emails and what do you know? Broadway is closed, indefinitely. All shows are cancelled until further notice. The city is in a state of panic, everything is shutting down. This is not a drill.

The city that famously never sleeps suddenly had a jarringly apocalyptic, thick wall of silence come over it – it was about to take a nap. One we are yet to see it fully wake up from.

To be continued…

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