Who do you want to be during COVID-19?

One woman's viral roadmap from fear to learning to growth.

Image source: Celina Canales for @parteaguaspodcast
  • This now-viral graphic was created by podcaster and journalist Celina Canales.
  • Canales created it late one night as she struggled with concern for her sleeping, immunocompromised son, and for her distant parents
  • Its circles extend out through 3 stages of being during COVID-19: fear, learning, and growth, and provide a welcome antidote to feelings of helplessness.


Late one Saturday night a few weeks ago, journalist and podcaster Celina Canales found herself alone with her thoughts. The house was silent, her three children and husband asleep. She'd been worried in particular about her son Gustav, whose fragile immune system could be easily overwhelmed by COVID-19, and about her parents in Mexico.

Canales began putting together a graphic on her laptop. It started, she says, as a pep talk to herself, and grew into a roadmap of concentric circles leading outward and away from an important question: Who do I want to be during the pandemic? By the time she'd built out her design, the circles had expanded from fear to learning to growth. It was 5 a.m., and as the sun rose, Canales found herself energized and in possession of a new sense of agency.

On Monday, she shared her circles on Instagram. They struck a chord with many people aching to feel less helpless in the face of so much uncertainty.

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