Ramses Hernández Marcof, 47

Ramses Hernández Marcof, 47, is a Cuban émigré and electrician living in Tampa.

His profession is considered essential and said he is lucky to be working but acknowledges that he is at risk of contracting COVID-19 by doing so.

Though satisfied with the preventative measures that Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has taken, he said Gov. Ron DeSantis should have taken more rigorous measures statewide earlier.

Hernández says the pandemic has not only affected his life, but also those of his relatives.

“As Latinos, we are very expressive when greeting and we have had to refrain from hugging and kissing,” he said in Spanish.

Hernández said he is disheartened by the cancellation of all international flights because he cannot see his wife and kids in Cuba and his American citizenship interview has been postponed due to the pandemic. Not only does it stall the process for him, but also delays having his family immigrate as well.

“The pandemic has distanced us from the people we love the most, since we cannot have them next to us,” he said.

Full disclosure: Hernández is the writer’s cousin. 

Bianca Marcof is a journalism major at Florida International University. She is interested in multimedia reporting, but her favorite thing to do is write.