NOTE: The audio over the phone was extremely grainy so it was very
difficult to understand many of S's answers. Communication was often difficult,
and he may have had a hard time hearing or understanding many questions.
S learned about mutual aid efforts through a friend who connected him to
AMOR. He received rent assistance from them and, in April, he received 1000 "pesos"
from them, and food every two weeks.
He believes he has had COVID-19 twice, but did not get tested nor did he see a
doctor either time. The first time he thinks he got COVID-19 was in late February or early March 2020, and he was sick for a month. He had a very bad headache and couldn't walk. It was difficult to walk down the stairs and take out the trash. He thought, "I am going
to die." His friends called him on the phone. When he was sick, a neighbor brought
him fruit. To feel better, he took Tylenol and ate apples, pineapples and onions.
Whenever he had difficulty breathing he would take tequila with lemon.
He says he went to the hospital but the security officer at the emergency room
door turned him away. (The audio is difficult to understand.) The second time was last month (April 2021). He was sick for two weeks. He watched the news about COVID-19 on his home TV throughout the pandemic. He is not vaccinated and he has reservations about whether the vaccines are good, "no sé si está buena." His friends also have reservations. He mentioned that he heard from friends that some people died from the vaccine.
His friends called him throughout the lockdown and when he was sick. In the
summer, after the first lockdown, some friends took him out to eat at a restaurant:
La Ranchita. Going to this restaurant made him feel "happy, because he could
eat." ("Alegre, porque podía comer.") Now, he spends his days at home, going on walks, and sometimes he has friends come over to his place, and they drink together. He is looking forward to going to the beach during the summer.
When asked about how his community experienced the pandemic, he answered in
terms of watching out his window and people-watching. He was alone for the
lockdown; his friends have come to visit him lately. (Communication was really
difficult.) His identity as a member of his group of friends was a common thought throughout this conversation. They called him when he was sick. He made it through the first sickness thanks to a friend, who told him: "you will get better." ("Te vas a curar.") His friends took him
to that restaurant over the summer. And now, he and his friends drink together,
and his opinion on the vaccine is shaped by theirs.