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Coping with COVID in Cleveland: Tony Correa, B. Riley Sober House

Coping with COVID in Cleveland: Tony Correa, B. Riley Sober House

After thousands of confirmed cases and hundreds of deaths in Ohio, people are (hopefully) staying at home to help protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. We checked in with various Clevelanders to see how they’re holding up and how the pandemic has affected them and their organizations.

Tony Correa is the founder and operator of B. Riley Sober House, an addiction recovery facility made specifically for members of the LGBTQ community. Since the need for addiction treatment doesn’t pause during a pandemic, we reached out for an inside scoop on how B. Riley Sober House has been impacted by the statewide COVID-19 shutdown.

Q: How has COVID-19 and Ohio’s general shutdown affected you and your work at B. Riley House?
A: COVID-19 and the general shutdown affects me and the work I do at B. Riley Sober by being unhealthily staffed as others who work in office, facilitate groups, and volunteer have decided it is in their best interest and in their families best interest to not work with people and quarantine themselves as it is best for the community in general. I end up working long hours and less time for selfcare. Our residents are most affected because they do not get to attend outside 12 step self help group meetings as an intervention in progressing toward abstinence. 

Q: What are you personally doing to help cope with the quarantine?
A: Just being mindful to practice washing my hands even more, wearing masks, and doing what I can to prevent the transmission/spread of germs. 

Q: How, if at all, has COVID-19 affected your worldview? Any new insights? New perspectives? New appreciations?
A: COVID-19 has affected my worldview by reinforcing my trust in the government to keep us Americans safe – at least at the state level. I am more grateful for socialization with friends and family. 

Q: Lastly, what’s the first thing you’re going to do when the shutdown ends?
A: I am going to dance until sunrise with my friends to electronic music and eat a good breakfast with friends at my favorite restaurant for breakfast food, The Big Egg.

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