Alberto Troccoli, 23

New York City is the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. A city known for its packed streets is now desolate and increasingly filled with sadness as the number of deaths increases by the day.  

“For the past three weeks already, a bizarre atmosphere of silence has settled on the area, occasionally disrupted by the sound of ambulances,” said Alberto Troccoli, a master’s student and teaching assistant at New York University.     

Troccoli said his community has drastically changed. The people who used to walk around Upper West Side streets are at home in quarantine, the businesses that kept the night alive are closed and laying off people while countless families mourn loved ones who passed away due to pandemic.

Thousands of lives have been changed for the worse, forever,” he said.  

As a student he can no longer go to classes on campus at NYU, but his workload as a teaching assistant has doubled. Troccoli thinks his chances of getting a job offer have lowered because of the recession.  

When he is not busy working, he cooks, reads, watches movies and keeps in touch with friends and family via Zoom and FaceTime.

I try to schedule my day in a way that balances work with leisure time,” he said.  


Edda León is a born and raised Venezuelan writer. She believes journalists are the gatekeepers of democracy and information is the most powerful tool you can give to people.