Postcards From the Pandemic: Self-Isolating After Cleveland Protests

Local videographer Coly Puzzuoli attended the protest in downtown Cleveland May 30 and is self-isolating to avoid potentially spreading the coronavirus to her at-risk parents. [Allie Healy]
Local videographer Coly Puzzuoli attended the protest in downtown Cleveland May 30 and is self-isolating to avoid potentially spreading the coronavirus to her at-risk parents. [Allie Healy]
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Outrage over the death of George Floyd sparked a large protest in Downtown Cleveland May 30. 

Local videographer Coly Puzzuoli lives with her parents in Strongsville and made the trip up to the city to participate.

But it was difficult to stay at a safe distance from others at the crowded demonstration, and when she returned home, she agreed to self-isolate for her parents' safety.

She's spending the next two weeks at an Airbnb in Cleveland.

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Taking Pandemic Precautions

So I actually have been living with my parents. My parents are both pushing 60. So, like, the whole quarantine, we've had definitely a lot of taking a lot of precautions and things like that to make sure that they're safe.

So I was talking to my parents and I'm like, "I think I'm gonna go to the protest." 

I mean, I was going back and forth in my head. But ultimately, it was, like, I just felt like I have to be there. You know what I mean? Yes, this is dangerous. But, like, it's dangerous for the black community every single day. 

So, I decided to go. 

Difficulties Distancing

There was a lot of people there and kind of, like, quickly, I was, like, this is going to be, like, close proximity. 

 And I kind of was like, 'if I’m exposed, I'm going to be exposed' because we're in a big crowd. Like, it's hard not to do that. 

I told my mom and she was, like, very upset. I mean, I don't think she was upset that I was there, but upset that I [was] putting them in danger or whatever. 

And then she was like, "It's not, like, safe for us, for you to stay here. So you got to, like, get a place or get an Airbnb," or whatever.

Temporary Home

Air BnB in downtown Cleveland

[Coly Puzzuoli]

So I booked this Airbnb, which is fine, honestly, you know, it's super nice. I really like it. It was just, like, a nice moment to have, like, a scenery break. 

My parents said they prefer that, like, I'm not in the house for like two weeks because of the, you know, exposure period or whatever. 

I think it was just in my head, but I felt just, like, a little sweaty...not fevered, but just, like, a little warmer than usual a couple days after. So I kind of was like, yeah, this is probably the right thing.

It's a little expensive. It definitely, like, put me out a little bit.

It's super weird that this has to happen during a pandemic. Like, you're choosing - do I help support the fight against police brutality or do I expose people to a global pandemic? It's not, it's not fun times right now for sure. 

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