Saturday, October 16, 2021

It has changed all of our lives

In the space of a few months -- just weeks in the United States -- the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the lives and livelihoods of untold millions into chaos. Death, severe illness, job loss, outrage and grief have covered the globe like an unwanted coat of paint. Seeking to understand its magnitude, South Florida Media Network journalists reached out to sources, friends and family members both in the area and around the globe. The result was 34 profiles from a dozen countries and six states, reported over a 10-day period in April 2020.

These stories as well as included voice recordings and videos, are pinpointed on the above map. They showcase FIU's truly international character and connections. If there is a familial relationship between the reporter and profile subject, it's noted in the text. Click on the names to experience their stories, or browse the links below. This is how history is written in America's most international city.

Written and produced by: Edda Leon Suarez, Bianca Marcof, Imogen Francis, Katherine Flinn, Steven Lopez, Matthew Garcia, Sayona Khandwalla, Monica Lebro, Layra Gonzalez, Alejandro Silva, Chabelis Leal, Gabriella Pinos, Chelsea Perez, Andrea Gonzalez, Alejandra Marquez Janse, Rosa Elera and Jessie Perez

Voices

Florida’s complex vaccination response leaves confusion (includes multimedia content)

After a long and exhausting year of battling the coronavirus pandemic, Florida is still being hard hit. The man in charge of the state’s...

Philip Hofbauer, 36

Philip Hofbauer is Austrian but has lived in Frankfurt, Germany for most of his life. He works in a management position for a large...

Tylah Drewett, 18

In the United Kingdom, currently ranked 6th globally for coronavirus cases, healthcare workers face nearly impossible odds fighting the virus that has taken more...

Paulina Gonzalez Calle, 54 (audio story included)

Paulina Gonzalez Calle, a 54-year-old housewife living in Quito, Ecuador, blames much of the virus’ spread on the youth. “I think the youth today is...

Juan Bolano, 21

Juan Bolano is a 21-year-old business major at the University of Central Florida who began his first shift as a bagboy at Publix a...

Daniela Rodriguez, 24 (audio story included)

Daniela Rodriguez, who is 33 weeks pregnant, is a registered nurse at Baptist Hospital in Kendall. She graduated from Barry University last year with a...

Juan Socorro, 65

Juan Socorro, 65, is a psychologist who has studied in Cuba, the United States and Spain. He currently resides in a city along Spain’s...

Yaël De Neve, 25

Yaël De Neve, 25, lives in Evergem, Belgium, where she works as an ethics teacher and a counselor at a special education middle and...

Nick Clayton, 26

Much of the discussion surrounding essential workers in this pandemic has centered around those employed in hospitals and grocery stores. However, there are many...

Kelley Leer, 53

In one of the hardest-hit coronavirus hotspots in Pennsylvania sits Arbour Square Senior Living Community of Harleysville. For now, residents are free of the...

Hannah Downing, 26

As the battle against coronavirus rages on, frontline workers like Hannah Downing, are bearing the brunt of the pandemic. Working as a paramedic with...

Max Enriquez Suarez, 43 (Video story included)

For Max Enriquez Suarez, a police officer in Guilford County, North Carolina, his work is much the same. He continues to answer calls for...

Sam Ryan, 29

Around the world, schools have shut down and teachers are having to adapt to a new normal as a result of the novel coronavirus....

Veronica Bolivar, 25

Veronica Bolivar is a 25-year-old teacher in Brooklyn that is finding new ways to keep her students engaged. According to its website, Brooklyn Robot Foundry...

Samah Kahn, 28

Despite the fact that Samah Kahn, 28, has a background in medicine, she’s concerned about how she will find a job due to the...

Carlos Acevedo, 39

Born in Colombia, Carlos Acevedo moved to Prague, Czech Republic 12 years ago. To this day, he continues to be amazed at Czech society...

Alexander Gonzalez, 36 (Audio story included)

Alexander Gonzalez is a convenience store manager in Rio Chico, Venezuela. Like others around the world, the 36-year-old is dealing with a quarantine. But...

Claudia Matjushin, 20 (Audio story included)

Claudia Matjushin is a 20-year-old Venezuelan living in Spain, which had 135,032 coronavirus cases as of Monday. She saw first-hand how the country turned...

Marina Kapoor (Audio story included)

Marina Kapoor is a Peruvian artist and LGBTQ+ activist living in Lima, Peru. She is a voice for transgender women like herself and is...

Javier Castro, 52

Due to the global shortage, a company based in Garden Grove, California has transformed their metal work warehouse into a manufacturer of face shields...

Kevin Curipan, 28

Kevin Curipan is a construction worker in New York City. This week Curipan has been working 12-hour shifts building mobile hospitals for people infected with COVID-19 in...

Sanica Coleman, 41

A nurse from North Carolina said she is under overwhelming stress even though her county hasn’t reached 100 confirmed cases yet. The state has been...

Gabriela Hatem, 25

With so much unknown about COVID-19, people are unable to plan for the future. Twenty-five-year-old Gabriela Hatem from Miami is having a tough time...

Estefania Fernandez, 31

Estefania Fernandez is a nurse practitioner at the University of California, San Diego, working in the obstetrics and gynecology department. She graduated from the Washington...

Jessica León, 34

Jessica León, 34, moved to Madrid, Spain late last year with the hopes to pursue a better life outside of her home country of...

Daniela Medina, 23

Daniela Medina, 23, is currently in medical school at Universidad Del Rosario. But she's stuck, since this was the semester she was supposed to...

Melissa Ugas, 23

Venezuela is one of the most vulnerable countries for the novel coronavirus. The country’s healthcare system is in shambles and without a free press...

Ana Salazar, 24

Ana Salazar, 24, said she was looking for a job months before the outbreak. “But now it is even harder because companies are not hiring...

Dora Machado, 18 (Audio story included)

Dora Machado is a senior at Hialeah Gardens Senior High School and also a student-athlete. She played softball for her high school, but her...

Alberto Troccoli, 23

New York City is the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. A city known for its packed streets is now desolate and increasingly...

Fabiana Ravelo, 23 

In Malaga, Spain news of the outbreak sent Fabiana Ravelo into a panic. As a 23-year-old with type 1 diabetes, she is part of...

Valentina Cabanzo, 24

Before COVID-19, spending the day around the house sounded good. Now, most people feel frustrated because they have to stay at home, and they...

Jean Lopez, 33

Jean Lopez, 33, is a certified martial arts master. He owns a gym in Cali, Colombia, called Senkai Gym. He has received diplomas from the...

Rebecca Valdivia and Ulysses Hickey (Video story included)

Ulysses Hickey, 33, had been following the news about the pandemic since the end of January. At the time, cases were beginning to be...

Ramses Hernández Marcof, 47

Ramses Hernández Marcof, 47, is a Cuban émigré and electrician living in Tampa. His profession is considered essential and said he is lucky to be working...

Lidice Hernández Marcof, 48

Lidice Hernández Marcof, 48, is a veterinarian living in Batabanó, Cuba. She and the other members of her household, which include her elderly parents, have...

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