Living in Florida — a Test of Faith During COVID

Florida and Texas Make up 40% of All New COVID Cases

Chelsea Catherine

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Photo by Leo Roomets on Unsplash

I moved to the Florida Keys in 2015. I was fresh out of the closet, a recent MFA graduate, and separating from my husband. My entire career had been in childcare, lining me up to become a teacher, but I hated the teaching system, so I decided to enroll in AmeriCorps VISTA and start over in Key West.

I was twenty-five. I lived on a boat in a marina off Stock Island next to a popular restaurant. I showered in a community stall behind it, frequently ran out of power, and took walks with Hemingway cats, watching horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, and hogfish float through the water. The sunsets were either lavender or blood red.

On weekends, friends with boats took me out to the sandbar where I watched nurse sharks flit in the shallows. I learned how to spot conch shells, how to anchor a boat, how to go crabbing, and how to spot lobster traps. I ran on the side of the street next to the mangrove roots, memorizing the smell of the algae. I fell in love twice and got rejected. I lay all my blessings on the slowly sinking ground in Sugarloaf Key and said goodbye to everything that brought me alive after my divorce.

In terms of weather, Florida is not a bad place to spend a pandemic. We have cool winters…

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Chelsea Catherine

Chelsea Catherine writes sometimes. They have two fun gay books available here: chelseacatherinewriter.com.