By Mary Muñoz, FII Story Curator
Shinita is a divorced mother living in Minneapolis who at this moment not only has to take care of her children and their education at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also has to take care of her health. She is currently fighting a battle against Cancer. At the time of our interview she was about to continue with radiation in a couple weeks.
Shinita is a photographer by profession and since the national quarantine order, it has been difficult to continue working. At this time she doesn’t have a chance to generate money to cover the basic needs for her family, such as rent and payment of electricity or gas.
Her family is doing ok, but kids are frustrated about school and not being able to go outside and to see their friends. They are having online classes but it has been complicated to keep them motivated to take their classes.
Not everything is negative in this situation, since from the worst moments you can always create something positive. In this case, the positive is friendship! She has a very good friend who stops by her home every week to check on her and to see if she needs anything for the kids and the house. Her friend has been an angel to Shinita, because she doesn’t want to be outside at the store since her immune system is weak and being in public could be dangerous for her health.
Shinita has been looking for different resources in the community to be able to pay rent and bills, but unfortunately, she hasn’t had any luck. “I had applied for some resources, but I did not get any answer back yet. I am waiting for it, because at this moment that would help me a lot to keep going.” This pandemic has many faces and causes different situations; our community is doing its best to get ahead in times of crisis like these. We cannot think that we are all going through the same circumstances or that we are experiencing this isolation in the same way. There are definitely people who are vulnerable and that help is necessary to keep going. The key here is to ask families what they need and not to believe that all families can be treated in the same way or with the same strategies.