Uptown resident: ‘We’re not in too crazy of a situation right now’

The Southwest Journal is documenting the coronavirus pandemic by recording the personal stories of Minneapolis residents and workers whose daily lives are in a state of flux. As the outbreak evolves, we will be checking in with the participants regularly. Read all of the stories here.

All interviews are conducted over the phone, and conversations are edited for length and clarity.

Jesse Vasquez, Uptown resident

I have started making some fabric masks. I got a template and got my pattern cut out and made about 20. I’m getting a little better at it. I was originally going to try and donate them to a health care facility, but I have a lot of close family members and people I know who are looking for them.
The dog park has been great. People are still able to be social while keeping distant. We actually met my mom out at the dog park and waved from afar. It was just kind of a break in the schedule.
We’ve been cooking more and more. I have carnitas in the slow cooker now. [My boyfriend] Shane did parmesan-breaded red potatoes and a ricotta-stuffed chicken thigh that were both pretty good.
My kind of day-to-day hasn’t changed too much. Shane has been going crazy. He used to perform [as a drag queen] three or four times a week. Now that he’s less active, his asthma is acting up. He’s had it his whole life but just in the last month has been the only time I’ve seen him regularly use his inhaler.
We got our unemployment benefits for this week. I think they’re still behind on the disbursement of the extra funds [from the federal stimulus]. With rent relief and some other help from family, we’re not in too crazy of a situation right now. I’m still cautiously optimistic, still hoping for the best.