“Why struggle to stay?” In an essay at Protean, Lupita Limón Corrales weaves her reflections about pandemic life, new ways of living, and leaving California, especially through the lens of the remote work revolution.

Writing about the first year of the pandemic — and the collective show of solidarity during 2020’s summer of racial reckoning, in particular — Corrales also muses on our changing relationship to space, from the movements the privileged among us were able to make, to how those shifts affected other people and ecosystems around us.

During the sale of the house, one person in L.A. County dies of COVID every 8 minutes, evictions continue illegally, historic businesses shutter, and a Zoom room remains a Zoom room no matter where you go. Outside of my bedroom window, the world I know slips away. What is a city without its people, its history, its intimate relationships, its land and public spaces? If every place becomes any place, what difference does it make?

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.