COMMUNITYFEATURE ARTICLES

What are you going to do after the Pandemic?

By: Al Ballesteros/Don Kendall (aka Mother Delicious)

We are living through a moment in history. This pandemic of 2019 has lasted more than a year and we still don’t know when it will be over. It could be another few months or another few years. In 100 years and beyond, for sure, people will read about these dark years we are in and will research what happened, how we reacted and what were the outcomes. They will want to understand what we learned from this experience and what we did better as a result.

We wanted to get an idea from a swatch of our community on a simple question: What are you going to do, look forward to doing after the pandemic? Some of the responses follow but the general sense from everyone we asked was reconnecting with family, friends, bringing back our community; traveling and seeing the world again. History has shown us that when devastating crisis happen, it always seems the most basic things which bond us to this world and this life are those that emerge as most important. In the past, and during our busy lives sometimes we forget that human connections and our connection to the planet and earth are what keep us alive and thriving.

So what will you do after the pandemic is over? Post your responses on our Facebook page at: Adelante Magazine

Hernan Molina,
Analista Politico at Estrella TV, Host Podcast Dos Tipos Politicos

As soon as COVID-19 recedes and we can safely resume our lives without fear of contracting the virus or passing it on to others, I will get together with friends, hug my family in a way I cannot do now. I also want to go back to traveling around the world and get to know other people and experience other cultures. Before the pandemic, we took a lot of things for granted, and this has been a great eye-opening experience for humanity. I would also like to volunteer my time and skills and be physically present doing work to positively impact other people’s lives.

Joe Castel
filmmaker, writer, activist,

Aside from going to see my family in Iowa, I plan to tour with a film I completed in 2020. Although my feature documentary did stream in Outfest’s online program back in August, it was disappointing that I was unable to have a theatrical screening. The film, Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria is about the first openly gay man who in 1961, ran for public office in the United States. Jose was not only Latino, he was also gender fluid who performed drag shows in San Francisco during the 1950s and 1960s. This fall, I hope to lead live discussions (no more ZOOM) and screen the award-winning documentary in Universities for LGBTQ students across the country and abroad. With the first openly gay man to run for president this past election, I think the documentary compliments to what is going on now and will move others to bravely breakdown homophobic barriers and reach for the stars. More than ever, we need inspirational stories that change hearts and minds over hate.

Danny de la Paz
Actor

When the pandemic eases up to the point where audiences may return to the legitimate theatre, I plan to return to doing live theatre and possibly a national tour. Theatre is where it all began for me, and now seems like the right time to get back to my roots and get those creative juices flowing. I really look forward to being in front of a live audience and feeling that electricity which passes between them and the actors during a live performance. There is nothing that can ever replace that.

Bamby Salcedo
Activist
President & CEO, [email protected] Coalition
Photo credit: Olivia Peregrino

My commitment to our peoples is simple: We are going to continue to fight to ensure that the lives of trans people are validated and recognized as the people that we are. As an organization, we continue to provide support to our community with emergency relief. Once this pandemic is over, I look forward to seeing our people eye to eye. I want to be able to hug and meet them in person and strategize and organize together in person. I see many possibilities, but these possibilities can only be a reality when the new administration takes a handle on the global pandemic in a way that will support all peoples. When this happens, only then, I will be able to see the beautiful smiles of our peoples.

Tony Mills, MD
President & CEO, Men’s Health Foundation

I am primarily a caregiver. I take care of HIV patients. When I started my practice in Los Angeles in 1999, people were frightened of HIV patients. They feared touching them. They feared transmission of the virus. I founded my practice on the fundamental principal of hugging. Every HIV patient got a hug when they came in and every HIV patient got a hug when they left. Maintaining social distancing has been the most difficult part of the COVID crisis for me. The hugs were not just for my patients, they were for me. They were for my staff. We all thrived on the love that we shared through those simple hugs. What I am most looking forward to when the crisis is over and it’s safe to resume normal activities is giving and receiving a hug from my patients. There is so much power in the simplest acts. I had many patients who told me “Dr. Mills, you are a great doctor, but my favorite parts of the visit are the hugs.” I want to hug my patients again. I can’t wait.

Hon. John J. Duran
Former Mayor of West Hollywood

“First – I am going to eat Chile verde at Teresitas at the corner of First and Gage. And then I am spending all day and night at Disneyland with my closest friends where we will act like 9-year old children and not feel foolish!”

Vilma Diaz
Singer/Musical Artist
formerly of La Sonora Dinamita

Hello friends. When the pandemic ends, the only thing I want most is to return to my work in my live performances with La Sonora Dinamita, I really need to see the public enjoy our music, but without a mask and that we are all healthy.

Gipsy Rodriguez
LGBT Activist

I can’t wait for things to go back to normal, although I appreciate the fact that this pandemic got our families and friends back and closer together. I look forward to being able to hug them all and the doors of my business will be open to reunite all of them.

Miss Lola
Queen of Club Papi

I am most looking forward to getting back into Drag and hosting at my home bars with Club Papi in long Beach @hamburger Marys and in WeHo @ Mickys. I’m really looking forward to traveling again especially to all the cities we serve with our club Papi events.

Danny Nuno,
“El Dman” & First Adelante Cover Model

When the pandemic is over, I will give BIG STRONG HUGS to all my loved ones and will live life without worrying about what people have to say. #YOLO

José Aguilar
Photographer

Once it’s safe and we are allowed to resume our “routine” activities, I look forward to being behind my camera. I am most alive when I’m photographing.

Jorge Diaz,
MSW, Director of Prevention Programs and Services – Bienestar Human Services

Over this past 10 months, I had a lot of time to reflect. A lot of alone time-that was scary. It was weird when this first all started. I was always that guy who was always “busy” and never could make it and do everything. I would miss friend’s outings and family gatherings due to work, social life or just poor time management. When I would go out to a club or bar or WeHo-I would play the stare game. You know, just stare at guys and they just look back. No chat, no going up to each other. Afraid of rejection.

I miss bonding and socializing. I plan to go and see family. I lost my biological father, an aunt and uncle due to COVID. I still have not been able to give my brothers a hug for their loss or any member of my family for the loss of our aunt and uncle. Not being able to be there for a funeral or passing was a new experience for me and so many.

I plan on going out with friends and working on strengthening my relationships with them. Being single and not being able to visit family or others due to COVID was really scary. I really want to bond with friends and make relationships stronger than before. Going home to an empty apartment was lonely at times.
I used to think that we could only hang out in WeHo. During this pandemic and not being able to go anywhere-I realized we can simply bond by going hiking, grabbing a bite to eat, gym or doing anything.

No more stare game. Wearing a mask for 10 months truly blocks who we are. COVID didn’t give me the courage to talk and smile at strangers in a club or out having a drink or anywhere. COVID made me realize how valuable and rewarding it is to speak to others, smile at others, greet others and be in tune with their facial expressions. I think I will be more social and not take for granted that a smile can change someone’s day.

Octavio Posos
Trainer and Activist

After the pandemic more than ever I would continue taking care of my body to help my immune system stronger. I would say thank you and ask them for their “names” to all the people that interacted every single day in the bank, grocery store and at the gym and be more personable.
I would love to also thank the nurses, doctors, and firefighters for all the GOOD they give/gave to help Covid patients. I would love to have back the power of love with hugs and kisses for my friends, family and dear friends. Finally, with my husband we would plan to fly around the World…

Ari Gutierrez Arambula
Co-Founder, Board Treasurer & Secretary
Latino Equality Alliance
Photo: Ari Gutierrez Arambula visits San Miguel de Allende with mom, wife and daughter.

During these months of the pandemic we learned to value our time together and realized how much we miss our family trips for the adventure and the bonding.
Although there is no place like home, after Covid we look forward to resuming family travel vacation traditions, visit familia in Texas and get back to colonial Mexico, Europe, Hawaiian Islands and more!

Roland Palencia
Community Benefits Director
L.A. Care Health Plan

We are in the midst of grief, gifts, and contribution–all at once. I will continue my commitment to healing and to rebuilding our most impacted communities ravaged by this pandemic and systemic racism. On a personal level, I will visit family and friends who live in other cities and continents, read novels and poetry that nurture my soul, and reflect on what just happened to us and our country given the multiple levels of abuse of the past four years.

Paul Culver
Photographer

After the Pandemic: I think the one thing I will look forward to the most is traveling. I know some people are doing it now, but I don’t think getting on a plane with 150 other people for hours is a smart thing to do. Travel is something I have always enjoyed and have met many people around the world doing it. I’m a little older now so going to the bars and clubs hasn’t been as big an issue as it would have been for me when I was in my 20s or 30s. I’ve been content to stay home and have luckily had some companionship for these last months. Also, with today’s technology we can stay in contact with friends far and wide more easily than in the past, and it was something I was already doing since moving to Colombia a few years ago. But I do miss the excitement of going somewhere in the world.

Juan Preciado
Commissioner
Los Angeles County Commission on HIV
HIV Coordinator, Northeast Valley Health Corporation

After the pandemic, I look forward to attending film festivals and network to capture & preserve inclusive experiences of sexual practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Promote awareness thought real-time, relevant & culturally rich bio-pic.
Also, host an art show at a gallery debuting work curated during the pandemic. But I really miss camping & a LIVE concert. I hope to see El Fantasma, Grupo Firme & Kendrick live- along with a good Oldies concert- all with those I love & new relationships to come.

Richard Zaldivar &
Joselito Laudencia

Dreaming of a day without COVID 19…There would be so much to do. We look forward to having lunch with our friends at a favorite restaurant, taking a cruise on an ocean liner to one of our favorite places, attending Mass at the downtown Cathedral, listening to music at the Hollywood Bowl, sitting in our seats at Dodger Stadium and watching our favorite baseball team. These are all fun things which we enjoy doing but nothing would be so important as marrying each other in front or our family and close friends. We have waited for that special moment. It’s coming, God willing.

Octavio J Vallejo
Community Liaison/Patient Advocate Merck & Co.

The loss of several good friends due to Covid-19 made me aware of how fragile our existence is. Thus, when we resume our “routine” activities after the pandemic, I’ll make sure that every single time I talk with someone face-to-face, I will let this person know how much I care about them and I will be 100% in the moment – because at the end we only have our memories.
Also, I will travel to places where I never have been with a similar attitude: Living 100% in the moment-because again, we only have our memories.”

David Vela
Trustee
Los Angeles Community College District

I plan on continuing to travel throughout the world to expand my perspective. More than ever we have to acknowledge that we all live on this planet together and that we must help each other if we are to survive as a species. We must learn to exchange ideas and innovate together to fight against global warming and a future pandemic.

Daniel P’Lopez and Arthur Porter
Community Advoctes
Married During Pandemic

We look forward to being able to go out to the movies, events, bars and clubs, restaurants, have parties and events with family and friends and really looking forward to traveling and going places without a mask or fear of getting sick.

Jamie Awad
Club Papi Productions

I am thankful that several of our most important venues that have hosted our Club Papi events will still be around in the late summer to early fall when I believe large gatherings at nightclubs will be allowed. I am looking forward to the day when we can come together to celebrate, dance, drink and be happy. Most importantly, I want to put our amazing team of dancers, Dj’s, drag queens and support staff back to work. This past year of the pandemic has been especially devastating to the nightlife industry, forcing some of our best team members to leave this line of work completely and either move away or find other work. Gay Pride events excite me a lot. Producing the Latin stage has been an honor for over 20+ years and I did not realize how much I would miss all the stress and joy that comes from creating those memories.

Mother Delicious
Community Personality, Advocate

Your question – MOTHER DELICIOUS what are you ‘gonna do once the pandemic is over with? Funny you should ask. I can’t wait to go to Disneyland. I am an annual passholder. Well I guess I was. That’s over now and it’s so sad everything is closed-up the clubs the bars the shows. I have to think about starting all over again.

Osvaldo Tanda
Adelante Cover Model
Creative director & Event Producer

I would like to go back to event production for the Gay Latin community in Los Angeles. It was a safe place for us to be ourselves, support local talents in the community and speak our own language, I really miss seeing people having fun.
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and I’m looking forward to work with our new normal and make the best out of it.

Luis Lopez,
co-founder HONOR PAC & Hans Johnson

First, I look forward to celebrating. To have me, my partner, and our immediate family members, including parents in their 80s, emerge safely from this pandemic is remarkable. It will be worth raising a glass. Then I plan to travel, after being disconnected for so long from so many. It makes for a backlog of visits that we aim to start on in fall 2021. We have dear friends with new babies, including in Seattle, and colleagues from across the country to see, including in Boston and Washington, D.C. It will be a particular joy to return to the Capital City and interact with friends who are returning decency to government and bringing expertise to solving big problems with their service in the Biden-Harris Administration.

Barbara Lewinski,
Artist, Performer

First, I would love to go outside, be able to hug my whole family, then travel a lot as I like, and work hard on my show, performing and make laugh all my community and people.

Ally Bolour, Esq.,
Immigration Attorney & Activist

A whole bunch of us plan to rent a farmhouse in the Bordeaux region of France, on a vineyard for 2 weeks. We will be leaving our cell phones in Paris upon arrival in order to be totally off the grid…no news, emails, or anything – completely cut off. Bliss.

Daniel Miagami
Adelante Cover Model

The first thing I’d do once this mess is over is buy two of the closest tickets to the stage of any concert. I don’t care who I see at this point, I just really miss music events the most.

Rick and Joe
Entrepreneurs

Our goals still continue, and we’re staying safe, fortunately our biz is now in Mexico in tulum and no cases in tulum, which makes things a lil easier. But can’t wait to start going back to dining, gym, swimming, sauna I miss so much.. Movies, we love having small gatherings, and love going to a spa at least two days out of the week. We miss traveling.. Thanks guys stay safe, together we could beat this..

Al & Pepe
Adelante Magazine

We look forward to getting together with family and friends especially. We can’t wait to once again play pool when the Los Angeles Pool League is able to start up again. We will definitely travel to some new place. We also look forward to distributing Adelante Magazine in more locations when they open back up. We’ll probably get another dog too.