Love, Joy, and Intimacy: One Family's Response to 550 Days of Lockdown

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Jeff Sapp
Erwin "Sino" Donato
Helena Donato-Sapp


Two parents and their middle school aged child reflect back on 550 days of COVID-19 lockdown.  Using a Poem in 3 Voices platform, each of them respond in conversation-style about their love of each other, their love of learning, and the joy and healing they found in common everyday things like reading, writing, cooking, music, and gardening.  Their playful banter seeks to speak to the intimacy they intentionally built with each other during the pain of the pandemic and their unspeakable losses.  The purpose of this aesthetic work is to illuminate that not all of lockdown was despair and that, in the midst of pain, there can also be moments of love, joy, and intimacy.

Article Details

Perspective 2: Voices from the Field
Author Biographies

Erwin "Sino" Donato, California State University Dominguez Hills and Westerly School of Long Beach

Sino is the parent of an 8th-grader and is deeply involved in volunteering in his daughter's school.  He has been president of the school PTA, regularly chairs a Spring arts festival at the school, and has been a room parent for what seems like his entire life.

Helena Donato-Sapp, Westerly School of Long Beach

Helena Donato-Sapp is a forward-looking 13-year-old author, speaker, artist, and activist who believes that young people can and must tackle topics such as racism, homophobia, misogyny, poverty, and climate change.  Guided by her own lived experiences and intersectional identities, her emerging scholary work is currently focused on Black girlhood, disability justice, and decolonizing the curriculum in her school.  She enjoys playing the violin, reading science fiction, practicing martial arts, and traveling the world.  She is going into the 8th-grade.  Helena lives in California with her two fathers and a parrot named Apple.  Find our more about her at