In St. Louis, we have lot of public-funded open areas and activities that are outside and very accessible to people in power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Now that we are in this pandemic, things are kind of upside down. Places that you would normally go to are either not open or you have to call ahead of time.
For example, we have an awesome art museum. We also have Forest Park in western St. Louis and it’s huge. It’s maybe the second biggest park in the United States. Don’t quote me on that. Now with COVID-19, you have to make reservations to get into the art museum, because it’s an indoor activity. Another one is the St. Louis Zoo. You can’t just walk in anymore. You have to call ahead and make a reservation and hope they are not booked up till the end of fall.
People like going down to Delmar Loop, which is a fun area in St Louis. You can eat outside and have a good time walking around outside and enjoying life. With all this craziness going on, stores are selectively open. Eating out is through reservations and on a first-come first-serve basis, with limited space because the tables are now spread out. Pretty crazy.
During the springtime, I like to go get tattoos done. In the past, I could just have a conversation with the tattoo writer and we just get it done, no matter how long it took. Now, I have to make an appointment and book a specific day and time, and make sure we have enough time to complete it before the next appointment. It’s a very big change, but if that’s the new normal for us, then that’s what we must do.
Every year, there is a little exhibition for people in wheelchairs and other special needs people down at the history museum, located in Forest Park. It’s an outside event that is free and open to the public. It is pretty fun and they have lot of cool sponsors. With the way things are right now, I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. A lot of things are being cancelled. Still, we can always find the silver lining in these situations. Things are slowly opening back up and maybe you’ll find your way to these places. It’s going to take time and patience.
About Jesse Cuellar: Jesse is an artist and a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. An accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, so he uses his mouth to paint and expresses himself through his art. Jesse lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys painting and hanging out with his friends. Click here to learn more about Jesse.