Millennials and Gen Zs are forced to move back to their parents house. But some love it.
Image via Alejandra de la Torre for The Americano

Millions of students and young professionals are being forced to go back to sleeping in their childhood bedrooms. Finding a job will be impossible. Some, value family more than ever.

Text and Photos by Alejandra de la Torre

April 23, 2020

To: You

From: Alejandra de la Torre

I hope this email finds you well. It’s been a week since I arrived home. Please find my unexpected travels below. I guess this is what traveling looks like now.

At first, I was supposed to stay at my uncle’s beach house to quarantine, -here comes the but– BUT he hasn’t set up the power and water supply in a while so I have been self-isolating in the comfort of my 9×10 childhood bedroom. Still, it feels nice to draw my curtains, have the mountain view that saw me grow up as company and cute knocks from all my family members coming to ask if I need anything.

One of my neighbors owns a lab here in Caguas (lucky, huh!). He had one of the rapid tests come my way. Before coming home I have been practicing social distancing in my Brooklyn apartment ever since word got around. I remember coming back to our apartment from Queens and hearing some apocalyptic messages through the speakers from the MTA. It really felt like the beginning of a movie where the downfall of humankind (scenery brought to you by New York City) came upon us and all you could hear is that message playing over and over again. That was one of the last times I remember taking the subway circa March 6th, 2020. Anyway! To the point. Evidently, since I had little to no contact from the city, it was to be expected: NEGATIVE RESULTS, I don’t have the virus.

I am now able to hug my mom, dad and abuelita. It feels great. 

Warmest and tropi-est regards,

Alejandra

6:40 AM — A red-eye commercial flight arrived at JFK’s Terminal 5. I’ve never seen an airport so desolated. Especially in New York.

Lovers destined to West Palm Beach defy current unofficial laws of physical distance.

An image of what my flight’s gate at Terminal 5 looked like for the two hours I spent waiting to board. All other gates looked the same.

Flight attendants in a forever on-call state.

7:34 AM — Very thorough cleaning at the terminal. The uneasiness of taking a seat and actually touching any surface just lifted from my body at this sight.

9:05 AM — I have always been a nonchalant traveler. This time though, the apprehension overflows. This person seems a little too relaxed.

Fun fact: the only person out of approximately eleven passengers who clapped when we landed in San Juan.

Disclaimer: A few tears were shed when I took a glimpse of this. May or may not have traced my fingers on the window as if I were drawing my island.

12:45 PM — Landed.

This gate had more people I would’ve expected to be traveling to New York City, out of all places.

I could sense Puerto Rico‘s government measures from the way people organized themselves.

11-2

These were ALL. OVER. SJU.

When was the last time you waited for your bags for just 00:35 seconds? That’s a first for me.

Once I had my bags, I glanced over to the exit. So they are taking temperatures.

17

Executive Orders from the government on display at the temperature check station.

18

97.3°F / Please state your name. Where are you coming from? How long was your stay? Address where you will be isolating yourself? If you feel any of these symptoms, please do not hesitate to call the Health Department.

Calibri font has never been more imperative.

An especially empty Teodoro Moscoso Bridge. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Home.