R.C., a teen in Santa Clara County, CA

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This post is in collaboration with covid9teen

The View from Silicon Valley

Santa Clara County, California, USA:

My area had some of the first coronavirus cases in the US.

On Thursday, March 12, about 10 minutes before school ended, we got the announcement that school was cancelled indefinitely. My school wasn’t the first – in fact, it was almost the last in the area. The rest of the schools closed only one day after us. And the following Tuesday, Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley issued an official shelter in place order (meaning that I can only go out for essential business and for exercising). Finally, that Friday the 19th, a California statewide stay at home order went out. So today is my 17th day of no school and my 13th day of official “sheltering in place.”

Despite the odd situation, not much seems to have changed in my daily life. I have my online assignments, and attend school over Zoom. Yes, I do sleep about an extra hour every night without my commute, and spend much much more time with my siblings (for better or for worse). Yet the main way the coronavirus has impacted me is in cancelled events (and that I dare not drink the rest of the milk, as my mom needs it for her morning coffee and we can’t get more for some time).

My already quiet area seems even more languid than usual – nobody really ventures outside but for walks. Everyone’s walking, though – much more than usual. Unfortunately I need to avoid a popular walking path by my house because, although so many people are walking, only a few (if any) are practicing proper social distancing. Not so with my neighborhood, luckily.

Even though coronavirus came early to my area, the amount of cases nearby has been relatively small (~600 in my county) compared to places like New York. But people have seen what is happening in New York and are mobilizing and preparing for the anticipated surge: Stanford University has set up tents to prepare (photo above, taken on a walk through campus). As it is, my school will be shut at least until May 4th.

Even though coronavirus came early to my area, the amount of cases nearby has been relatively small (~600 in my county) compared to places like New York. But people have seen what is happening in New York and are mobilizing and preparing for the anticipated surge: Stanford University has set up tents to prepare (photo above, taken on a walk through campus). As it is, my school will be shut at least until May 4th.

[submitted on 3/29/2020]

Learn more about the LiQ and the covid9teen collaboration here

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Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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