Life at the Epicenter of the Epicenter… for Alessandro Vasini

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2020 is a year none of us will ever forget. People all over the world will always be able to bond  over how  coronavirus has changed their lives. Those of us in Miami have a unique perspective. For a period this past summer Miami was the epicenter of the entire world for COVID cases.

We’d like to chronicle how the year of COVID affected the people who call South Florida home. If you’re interested in sharing your story please reach out to us at jitneybooks@gmail.com.

For our first feature in the Epicenter of the Epicenter we spoke to Alessandro Vasini. Born in Sardinia, Vasini now calls another beautiful island home in Miami Beach. As a teenager he got a job as an apprentice shoemaker in a small luxury shoe factory. He’s had his mind on shoes ever since culminating in 2019 with his own shoe company that bears his name (which you can check out at alessandrovasini.com ).

What was life like for you before the pandemic?

Life before the pandemic was running very fast, often I felt like I was missing the point.  No goals. It was like there was no time to stop but at the same time there was no final destination.

How did the pandemic change your life?

I think with the pandemic the entire world had to stop, take a break. During this period I had the opportunity to actually raise my head, look around, look things from different sides. I was able to ponder and realize what are the actual priorities, what are the goals.

Has this time made you see Miami any differently?

Yes, of course. I have seen a very lively city with near empty streets. Businesses and people taking a different approach to everything.

What are some specific memories that you will take with you from this time?

Seeing Miami Beach quiet on a Saturday night is something that makes you think how  life was many years ago. I believe it was like going back in time. That is probably the memory that has been most impressed in my mind.

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David Rolland

David Rolland edits The Jitney blog. He is the author of the novel The End of the Century.