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Social Distancing at 85mm: Melissa, Lake Como 

click to enlarge Melissa, Lake Como - PHOT BY MATT KELLER LEHMAN
  • Phot by Matt Keller Lehman
  • Melissa, Lake Como

What are you doing to stay productive around the house throughout the day to stay positive during these times?
My job typically has me traveling out of town almost every week, so this has been a hard adjustment for me. Thank goodness for structure. I had to overhaul my day and set up an entirely new routine, but it’s been my saving grace. I made a decision to focus only on the positive things about my life instead of sitting around and worrying about things I cannot control or predict. I am so fortunate to still have my day job, and even though it’s one Zoom meeting after another, it’s adding to my daily structure and it keeps me hopeful for the tide to turn for us all. Some small things that have helped me: more music and less news cycle, get dressed each morning like you’re actually going out to work, and dance around the house as much as possible. It really does do wonders for your mood!

Are there any local Orlando residents or business livestreams you recommend?
I am so proud of Orlando Power Yoga and how we’ve come together as a big family to offer Facebook Live classes daily (9 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m.) and several on-demand classes on our YouTube page. It feels so good to connect with everyone daily, and it’s definitely helped me keep my own sanity. I teach the live 6 p.m. class on Saturdays, so please know that having a wine glass by your mat at that time is not a bad thing at all.  

If you could be anywhere else besides your house right now, where would you like to be?
I should be at the Masters in Augusta right now [Ed. note: This was the first photo taken in the series!], so I miss seeing the course and all the hard work they do to prepare the course. Guess I’ll have to eat my own Publix pimento cheese sandwich from my couch and patiently wait for November to get here. I won’t see the azaleas blooming at that time, but I’ll still enjoy eating three of their sandwiches without blinking an eye.

What are you reading?
Currently, I’m rereading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I’m on Book 4, Wolves of the Calla. There’s something so soothing about escaping into this fantasy world right now, even for just an hour a day. When you read about monsters wearing human skin, suicidal trains and alternate universes, the coronavirus doesn’t seem to be so terrible in comparison. I recommend any books by Stephen King, Justin Cronin or Nick Cutter if you want to really forget our current troubles when you turn a page.

Music or podcast recommendations?
Both “Dirty John” and “Over My Dead Body: Tally” podcasts have been wonderful to listen to for my long evening walks. Musically, Purity Ring just dropped their first album in five years (WOMB) and it’s wonderful. If you want music to shake your hips to while deep-cleaning your house, check out any of Lane 8’s seasonal mixtapes on Soundcloud. He releases a new one each season (Spring 2020 just dropped) and they each provide hours of listening pleasure.

Any Netflix/Prime/etc. recommendations?
I cannot stress this enough: Tales from the Loop on Prime. Whoa, it’s special. Think Black Mirror but whimsical and with more heart and soul. I’d be remiss to exclude Tiger King at this point, and I also recommend watching Twin Peaks from the very beginning, including the newish 2017 season on Showtime. It’s both insane and absolutely perfect in every way.

The photo series Social Distancing at 85mm was shot in Orlando by Matt Keller Lehman for Orlando Weekly during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

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