Front porch portraits: Life in the time of the coronavirus

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The rise of COVID-19 has been isolating , over- whelming and quite devastating globally. Orders to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus are keeping people in the house, except to grocery shop, pick up food and/or medicine and go to medical appointments. Children are out of school and non-essential workers are at home. Regina H. Boone/Richmond Free Press Reginald “Bubba” Williams III, and his sister, Denise Williams, have shared a home in Henrico County for the past six years. “We do well together, but we are both missing our activity,” Ms. Williams said. “I am totally missing getting out.” But she knows staying in will help stop the transmission of the coronavirus, protecting her, her brother and others. She said she used to go out a lot. But now, “No malls. No stores.” And lately, she said, “My sleep habits aren’t good.” Sandra Sellars/Richmond Free Press Nitika and Joshua Achalam may be staying home, but they are staying busy. They are outside their home in Fulton with their chickens, Octavia Butler and Zora Neale Hurston. Asked how their lives are different during the pandemic, Mrs. Achalam, executive director of Project Yoga Richmond and an herbal healer with True Grit Botanica, said, “We’ve launched an online membership platform where the community can remotely access yoga and mindfulness content from PYR ambassadors.” Mr. Achalam, a reggae artist and educator, said, “Shows are postponed. But we’ll regroup and spend more time in the studio.” On April 4, he performed in “Couchella,” a digital music festival that helped raise money for the Makindu Children’s Center in Kenya. The money will help install hand-washing stations at the center to combat the spread of COVID-19. Asked about the silver lining, both say the crisis has caused them to slow down and concentrate on the health and well-being of themselves and family. Richmond Free Press photographers Sandra Sellars and Regina H. Boone are documenting this time by having Richmonders step outside for a front porch or front yard photo, adhering to social distancing guidelines. They also asked people they photographed what they see as the silver lining in all of this. Their thoughts and photographs we hope will bring joy.