Lee Brian Schrager, Belkys Nerey and More on Their Lives in #Quarantine

We are now over 6 weeks deep into a Covid-19 pandemic quarantine which, for most South Floridians, is like a hurricane blackout times a million. Miami is a city of extroverts, of party people, of non-stop air-kissing and food sharing. It’s been tough. Some of us are on a first-name basis with the Total Wine delivery guy. Others are baking banana bread in tie-dye sweats after their morning live-stream boot camp sesh with Barry’s trainers. Still more are struggling to keep businesses afloat, homeschool kids and watch all three seasons of Ozark. But no matter what your situation we are all in this storm together, weathering it one cocktail at a time. For this dispatch, we asked Miami notables to show us what their lives have looked like these past weeks.

Marysol Patton, retired president of the Patton Group and freelance consultant. The Real Housewives of Miami cast member.

Marysol Patton.
Where are you hunkering down?
I am quarantined at My home in coconut grove. 
Please take us through your day.
I move from my bed to the sofa, and repeat for about 6 weeks now. 
Is there an upside to self-isolation? It’s peaceful and actually there really has not been too much of an upside for me because I have had zero motivation to do anything. I feel guilty watching people showing off their cooking and closet organization. I want to do it but then I just think ugh no!! 
Your social calendar is usually filled with charity galas, posh luncheons and fashion events. How have you kept up with that side of things?
Well I’m keeping up with all my friends that I socialize with through zoom and house party happy hour virtual calls. It’s fun and we giggle and wear headpieces, crowns, hats etc and share our cocktail recipes and drink them. 
What’s your go-to outfit these days?
Pajamas 24/7. My old business partner Carol Bell from Brandlink Communications has supplied me with tons of Sant and Abel (@santandabel). All the celebs wear them…they’re super cute. Also Charmajesty and Petite Plume.
We’ve all been drinking (heavily). Are you sipping anything in particular?
Titos & San Pellegrino  Aranciata or Rosè wine. 
What do you miss most from your pre-COVID life?
Freedom and my supple soft hands that have turned to chalk from so much washing.
What have you been watching/reading/listening to? 
I’ve been listening to the audio book Becoming Superhuman, my girlfriend Countess LuAnne recommended it to me. 
What else are you doing?
I am constantly thanking the universe for my blessings and being grateful and appreciative for all that I have especially my inner peace. 

Lee Brian Schrager, senior vice president of communications and corporate social responsibility for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Lee Brian Schrager and “The Browns.”

Where are you hunkering down? On weekdays, I’m at the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Crisis Management Center, which is housed in our Miramar office. Alongside a handful of other SGWS executives, I lead the internal/external communication strategy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts for the company’s 22,000 employees and 5,000+ supplier partners. As the largest North American wine and spirits distributor, we are an essential business and there are still a few key members of our executive team going into the office on a daily basis (while taking the necessary precautions, of course). In the evenings and on the weekends, you can find me going stir crazy at home, with my husband and two dogs or as I affectionately call them, “The Browns.”

Please take us through your day. The majority of my workday is spent communicating with SGWS’ ownership and senior leadership team, helping them establish and communicate protocol and messaging both internally and externally. I also spend several hours a day crafting and promoting our CSR initiatives, which include our SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund; our NYCWFF Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (set to launch later this month in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation); and the many CSR relief efforts of our valued supplier partners.

Is there an upside to self-isolation?  Saving money on dry cleaning and traveling.

Your calendar is usually packed with social events, charity galas and of course dining out at new and favorite restaurants. How have you kept up with that side of things? As you know, everything has either been postponed or cancelled, which means that I’ve had much more time to catch up with friends, particularly via social media. I’ve said this to my friends a few times on Instagram – once this is all over, please invite me to anything and everything, and I’ll be there with bells on. I won’t be saying no to any invitations for a long time!

Tell us about the relief fund you are spearheading for the hospitality industry. Like a lot of people, I knew that I had a certain responsibility to use my voice and resources to support the hospitality industry during this time of hardship and uncertainty. A few weeks ago, I was on a call with around 20 local chefs and they all said the same thing to me – we need to help our employees. A week later, we launched the SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund, which provides immediate financial support to independently owned and operated restaurants and bars impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The Fund, which is administered by the FIU Foundation, grants money to approved restaurant or bar owners, who then distribute the funds amongst their employees who have been furloughed, laid off, or whose incomes have been significantly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, we’ve raised almost $1.4 million and are still actively fundraising so that we can support as many hospitality employees as possible. We’re also getting ready to launch a fund in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation – the NYCWFF Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which will be the first New York State-specific fund focusing on relief for restaurant employees impacted by COVID-19.

We’ve all been drinking (heavily). Are you sipping anything in particular? Generally, I’m eating and drinking way more than usual (though nothing in particular). If this goes on for much longer, I might end up being cast in “My 600-lb Life!”

What do you miss most from your pre-COVID life?  Seeing my mom and my close friends. 

What have you been watching/reading/listening to? I can’t seem to focus on reading (probably because I do so much of it during the workday) but my TV viewing has increased fifty-fold. My husband and I have already gone through “The Tudors,” “Versailles,” “Reign,” “Tiger King,” and “Toy Boy.”

What else are you doing? I’m walking “The Browns” a lot and reconnecting with friends I haven’t spoken with in way too long.

How do you envision life post-COVID? This seems to be the question on everyone’s mind right now and as you can imagine, no one really knows what to expect. I’m very concerned for our industry, that’s for sure. But I’m also hopeful that we can come together and make a difference in terms of supporting the hospitality community – on both a local and national level. It needs our help now more than ever. Life certainly won’t be the same once this is all over (how could it be?) but I’m optimistic that in time, we’ll be able to once again experience some of life’s simplest pleasures which, for me, include sharing a great meal with family and friends. Just as long as it isn’t at home.

Belkys Nerey and Demetri Mouratis.
Belkys Nerey, WSVN-Ch. 7 anchor.

Where are you hunkering down?
I go to Channel 7 Monday through Friday for work.  The rest of the time I’m home.  My husband worked from home prior to this so not too much changed for him except now we don’t socialize with friends.  
Please take us through your day.
I wake up kind of late because I work nights, usually around 9:30/10am). By the time I  have coffee, do a little administration as I call it (pay bills, check email etc)  and then try to go for a walk out on the beach to get the blood flowing it’s time to shower and head to Channel 7. 
Is there an upside to self-isolation?  No FOMO because nobody’s doing anything! 
Who’s been doing the cleaning in your house? Demetri and I are pretty OCD pre-covid19 so we are good about keeping things clean and now sanitizing.  
What’s your go-to outfit these days?  Monday – Friday I’m working and have clothes in my office.  Weekends I’ve been wearing these comfy tennis skirts (I don’t even play tennis LOL) and t-shirts.  The skirts are so stretchy they’re great.  
We’ve all been drinking (heavily). Are you sipping anything in particular?  Aperol Spritz YUM
What’s your secret to keeping calm? And connected?  Just follow the rules: hand wash ALL THE TIME, mask when you have to go out and social distance when you are out.  Have faith that we will get through this.  Zooms have been a lifesaver.  We have so many April birthdays in my family and we get together on there and it’s just great.  
What do you miss most from your pre-COVID life?  Eating out, trying all the new restaurants in town and THE BEACH! 
What have you been watching/reading/listening to?  Duh TIGER KING! Also, started watching Dr. Foster, British show.  It’s so good.  Oh and finished Ozark, WHAT an ending!  
What else are you doing?  I come into work Monday through Friday my usual schedule so I have to be honest I LOVE being home on the weekends.  My husband and I are always socializing so it’s nice to get to Friday and have nothing on the books on Saturday or Sunday.  I’m digging this #saferathome business.
How do you envision life post-COVID?   I hope people remember how kind we all were to each other and how great it feels to hug people.  I’m hugging everyone all the time after this!
Man-about-town Giovanny Guitierrez.
Giovanny Gutierrez, founder of Chat Chow TV, Brand Ambassador for Bacardi and is currently operating as Director of Interactive at Tinsley Advertising.

Where are you hunkering down?
Home in Shenandoah, spending more time in the backyard than ever. 

Please take us through your day.
Waking up and still meditating. Been catching up on Gladwell’s new book “Talking to Strangers”. Drink my Athletic Greens. Catch up on work email. Playing an old album each day. Couple of zoom calls. Making some dope lunches (homemade Shake Shack burgers today).Getting a zoom workout from individuals that used to teach at studios. Drinking Havana Club Rum (duh). Watching Westworld, again. Ordering some of the city’s best food at home thanks to GMCVB’s #MiamiEats program. Making killer desserts (babka cinnamon buns anyone?). Sometimes Peloton ride. Same routine… Everyday. #GroundHogDay

Is there an upside to self-isolation?
Enjoying my home more, perfecting recipes and just the slower pace is a nice change.

Who’s been doing the cleaning in your house?
Miss Chat Chow and I are both very organized and we keep it tidy. Plus we can’t forget Rosie, our Roomba.

We’ve all been drinking (heavily). Are you sipping anything in particular?
Been crushing a bottle overnight except for a few inches I leave in the bottle that I drop off at my mother’s in the middle of the night like a milk maid.

What’s your secret to keeping calm? And connected?
Meditation. Reading. Peace of mind.

What do you miss most from your pre-COVID life?
Hugging and kissing people. 

What else are you doing?
Playing video games again till late night and screaming obscenities to teenagers bullying me.

How do you envision life post-COVID?
No clue. Not sure the psychological scar of all this is. Can only hope and wish for the best with your head held high. 

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