Leo and Brianna. Favela Chacara do Ceu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“Leo (36) and I (31) have been together almost three years now. We met in Rio in 2017, married here in 2018. I am American so he taught me Portuguese. Soon after we married, I had to return to NYC to find work, and we were separated for over year. The plan was for me to return to Rio in April 2020 to be with Leo and work remotely for my company. Then Covid19 hit in March, and of course it was a scary time in NYC with such an explosion of cases. My original flight to Rio on April 6th had been canceled and I was worried that I would have to wait indefinitely to return. I ultimately found an earlier flight out and decided to scramble my things together and take it.  The state of the pandemic here in Rio seems to be three weeks behind the curve in the US. Cases are still relatively low and for the most part everyone is self-isolating, despite the President Bolsonaro’s efforts to downplay the crisis. Here in Favela Chacara do Ceu where we live in a 120 sq ft apartment (that Leo carved out of a mountain), it is hard for residents to practice social distancing as everyone lives so close to each other. But spirits are still high, as they would be in a place like Rio. I am just happy I was able to make it here to quarantine with Leo during this mind bending time”.