Life in Medellin, Colombia During Lockdown

Life in Medellin, Colombia During Lockdown

In June 2020, Lamon and I were in our own separate spaces lounging a responsible six feet apart as he told me about his latest single Spotlight and finca life in Envigado, Colombia. Well, fast forward to September and Lamon has more to share. After the release of his latest single, he has been busy again working on a new track that he’s excited to promote. I also found out that not only does he have a background in teaching but he is an entrepreneur. He and his four business partners make up a company called Primeros Cinco. During lockdown, he’s been working on some promising opportunities using Medellin, Colombia as his home base. 

The last time we spoke, Lamon had me in tears with his Lamonda story. I needed a good laugh and, oh, how we laughed. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. If you’ve lived abroad or speak more than one language — it’s a story you will find funny too. 

Our recent catch-up call was more about — how are you? What’s going on down there? Are you ok? Most of us are feeling the same way at this point. It’s been six months of living with cabin fever and well, we’re just not feeling like ourselves. Let’s face it, the world is fighting a pandemic and we are all trying to survive and manage. Lamon, well, he’s making music and chillin’. Find out how he is doing with the most recent update from his apartment in Medellin, Colombia: 

Where have you been living? Tell us about your living situation in Medellin, Colombia.

The last time we spoke, I was staying at a finca in Envigado. It was great during the first two months of the lockdown. Now, I’m back in my apartment in Medellin, Colombia, which has its pros and cons. During my stay at the finca, I didn’t see anyone for two months with the exception of the staff and chef. Every day, I was able to exercise outdoors and enjoy fresh air and nature. Here in Medellin, I see more people. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of exercising outside or going on nature walks; that’s been a difficult adjustment.

A picture of Lamon wearing a mask and large headphones in Medellin, Colombia

What have you been doing to keep yourself occupied? Work? Exploring? Exercise?

I’m a strong believer that there is always opportunity in chaos. Since the start of the lockdown, I’ve focused a lot on mind development. Every day I read for 30 minutes when I wake up. Following that, I exercise. Right now, I’m committing a lot of time to flexibility and mobility workouts. I signed up for Portuguese classes via italki and released a new song called Kiz Kiz, which is available on all digital platforms.

Do you interact with friends or are you not allowed?

I speak with my friends/business partners often via Google Meet; we still have a number of businesses to manage and are working on new projects. Because we are on complete lockdown, it’s somewhat difficult to catch up with each other in person. We are allowed to go out once a week for groceries, banking, and other necessary errands, which can easily take up your entire day. Trying to visit friends on those days is difficult.

What is the COVID-19 situation like in Medellin, Colombia?

I’m always amazed as to how the situation is being handled here versus the States. For example, every two weeks we receive a notice informing us which days we are allowed to go out. The system is based on the last number of your local ID/passport. For example, if the last number of your local ID/passport is 6, officials will inform you that you can leave your home on Wednesday. 

Going to the supermarket or mall in Medellin is like checking in at the airport. When you arrive at a supermarket or mall, they first take your temperature to see if you have a fever; before you’re allowed to enter, you must disinfect your shoes and hands. Then, your ID is checked to determine if you have permission to be outside that day. If you have approval, your ID is then registered. Upon exiting, you must register once more that you are leaving the premises.

A picture of Lamon wearing a face shield and mask in Medellin, Colombia.

What has helped you stay optimistic about the situation?

With the exception of not being able to perform at night and clubs being closed, nothing has really changed. My daily routine and life have stayed the same. I work from home and have a home base. During the day, I work out and always have used exercise to stay positive. This keeps me focused and helps me stay optimistic about my life’s goals.

Do you have any news on when you can come home?

Medellin, Colombia is home (hahaha). At the moment, I don’t have any plans of traveling to the US. From what I’ve seen on the news and conversations with friends and family, it’s best to camp out here for a while. The reason being is to stay healthy. I feel safer in Medellin than I do stateside.  

Are there options to come back to the USA now? I have heard that repatriation flights can be extremely expensive from South America. Is this true?

Two months ago, humanitarian flights were expensive. However, I believe the prices have stabilized a bit. According to recent news, domestic flights will reopen in September and international flights will reopen in November. We’ll have to see what happens, but I’m in no rush to travel.

A picture of Lamon in Medellin, Colombia

How are the locals in Medellin, Colombia coping with COVID-19?

For the most part, locals are doing their best to cope with the situation and the majority are following protocol. Of course, there are certain neighborhoods that are not complying with all of the protocols, but that’s to be expected. I haven’t heard of any locals not wanting to wear face masks or protesting, which has been rather common in the US.

How has your family dealt with this situation?

My mom lives in Georgia. She tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized for three months; including three weeks in a coma. Naturally, my family had a difficult time dealing with the situation. Fortunately, she was able to pull through and is in recovery.

Lamon's mom, a coronavirus survivor.

Can you share any memorable situations? 

To help people deal with home confinement, sometimes the local police and/or local musicians have gone to different neighborhoods/apartment buildings and played music outside. Julio plays for an hour and a half. Check out the video at the end to see one of these performers. 

How has living in Medellin, Colombia changed any future plans that you might have?

The situation has presented some new business opportunities that I’ll be happy to share with you once we launch. 

Each time I speak with Lamon, I feel more and more excited to see where his journey will take him. I feel this same sense with many of our contributors. Nonetheless, with Lamon, I feel like he is about to take off. I met Lamon in 2015 and saw a man who was incredibly dedicated to working hard in his classroom. Today, I see a man with even more of a vision and a dream. Let’s see where Lamon will take us next.

By Leesa Truesdell

28 thoughts on “Life in Medellin, Colombia During Lockdown

  1. You know, this was a really interesting read. I’m sorry to say it, but I never really thought about what it would be like in another country during all this.

  2. It is amazing that this virus has affected the whole world and even in Columbia you have to be careful. I ams o glad that your mother is in recovery, wha ta scare

  3. This is a really interesting read – it is strange to read about how different places are dealing with COVID-19. I bet it is so scary having a close family member suffering with it I am glad she is recovering now.

  4. Oh gosh, it was so tough being in lockdown. I’m always interested to see how it was for other people in different parts of the world.

  5. It’s very interesting to see how the whole world has been affected by this pandemic. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. This pandemic has changed everybody’s perspective about life. Is something so unexpected he is doing the best he can producing music and leaving in Columbia.

  7. Thank you for sharing his story. It is amazing how people have adapted to overcome hurdles that wouldn’t have happened several years ago. I know in the US, many companies were hesitant of letting employees work from home. I think the pandemic will help employers to rethink their stance on working from home long term.

    I think I would stay put if I was him too. Traveling and being exposed to germs in airplanes, bus stations, etc if a bit risky.

  8. I think it’s been so hard on many of us with the lockdown. We are no longer in lockdown thankfully and I hope it doesn’t happen again. I can only imagine how much harder it is for some. It’s so interesting reading about others and how it has affected them.

  9. Wow, what a story! I wish for a speedy recovery for his mother. May we all remain healthy and strong and beat this scary phase in all our lives.

  10. Wow a temp check and you have to disinfect hands and shoes? I always wonder why we all can’t just follow the same protocols.

  11. I’m glad this his mom pulled through her coma and I hope she has a complete recovery! I am glad that they are taking COVID so seriously in Medellin, Colombia. All those precautions should help!

  12. Whole world had been affected due to this pandemic and colombia is not safe too. I really liked how you interviewed and it makes me say that we all are together, with each other in in this Global Crisis!

  13. This was so interesting! My family is from Bogota, Colombia and hearing about the situation there during the pandemic has been interesting. It’s nice to here Medelin’s safety precautions. It’s good to see the positives during this time and finding new opportunities. I I hope to visit Colombia once the airports re-open and allow Americans into the country.

  14. Glad to hear he is healthy and happy there. I liked the quote that he had talking about there are always opportunities to find during chaos. So true!

  15. You have to be optimistic during something like COVID lockdown. I was able to do so much in my home that had to be done

  16. This is tough year for all of us! I’am glad your positivity still remain despite what happening right now! I hope this pandemic will be end soon. This is such a nice post!

  17. It’s good how the police and local musicians took the initiative to play music in neighborhoods to help ease the home confinement situation. Great to hear that Lamon’s mom is already in recovery.

  18. This pandemic has truly changed our lives and it’s really scary. I am glad that majority of the people in Medellin, Colombia are following the protocols.

  19. Interesting read. Tough being in lockdown.It is great way to prevent the spread of Covid.This pandemic has changed the style of life.

    1. I enjoyed reading this piece. We are all in various forms of lock down and it is good to read about how other people are handing things.

  20. It’s great that everything is okay there, the pandemic and lock down certainly took a toll on most people. Hope everyone stays safe and have a wonderful month of September.

  21. Lockdown has been a very strange time for many people and deffo has changed our perspective so much x

  22. I really got interested in Medellin, Colombia because of the show Narcos. I hope to see it soon post pandemic. I hope everything is ok.

  23. What a tough time it has been. I am glad to hear that Lamon’s mom is in recovery and pulled through after so long in the hospital. And I pray that the world can be over this soon. This is not good for anyone’s mental health, let alone physical health.

  24. it’s interesting to hear about what other countries are doing. hopefully things will get back to normal soon

  25. I’m glad your Mom is recovering well. Praise God. I have family around the world so I’ve paid attention to how other nations have handled the pandemic. We need stronger measures in the US for sure.

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