Check out all the HEROES we’ve covered in our special Hotspots Magazine Issue.

WHEN THIS WHOLE CORONAVIRUS THING STARTED, I didn’t really think too much about it. It was something happening to people on the other side of the world, and I just really didn’t feel like I needed to be all that concerned about it. And then as it slowly made its way toward the US, I still didn’t worry too much about it because I figured that the people who are supposed to know how to take care of such things would, you know, take care of it. Well, as we all know, that did not happen.

So as I started to hear about people here in Florida falling ill, see friends getting laid off from work, and having my own business ventures dry up, I felt only one thing: panic. I couldn’t believe this was really happening and I had no idea how I was going to go forward – or how I was going to stay at home for weeks (months?) on end without going completely crazy.

As an artist, nothing soothes my nerves more than just illustrating, creating – it’s really a form of meditation for me. It’s the main reason I love what I do. I’m also something of a new junkie (aren’t we all right now?), and so one day as I was just sketching out some of my usual illustrations I heard one of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press briefings on the virus. I was so inspired by his steady response to the unfolding crisis that I decided to draw a portrait of him to share with my friends on Facebook. One of them saw it, loved it, and suggested that I share more of my illustrations as a way of comforting people.

With all the bad news out there, I nevertheless kept seeing amazing stories and figures, who inspired me to create the series that you see here. I hope they comfort and inspire you as much as they did me! And while I know that more challenges lie ahead, I know that we can get through this together.