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The Stories

K.N., 65, a piano teacher and substitute teacher in Murrieta, CA

“We were going to have a large party for my mother’s 90th birthday which ended up being a drive by for her. A few inconveniences that we encountered during our time in quarantine. Although these inconveniences disappointed us all they were minor in comparison to the devastation experienced by many during this pandemic.”

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C.P., a teen in Gisborne, New Zealand

“My mother works in the hospital and my father worked within the grocery store so we were always cautious about the way we did things. We talked at dinner about covid and all the crazy things it had people doing. We laughed about people wearing plastic bags or Stormtrooper masks (Starwars) when they went grocery shopping…The thought of covid was constantly on my mind, a stressor that was inescapable.”

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H.K., a teen in Bad Arolsen, Germany

“At home I feel best at the moment. I would not like to be stuck in another country and not see my family. I pass my time on the computer or I help my father in his garage. We can only go shopping with a mask and the shops are very full.”

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F.S., a teen in Warsaw, Poland

“In March and April, during the lockdown, I virtually did not leave my house at all, maybe with an exception for a short bike ride every two days, but since May, as the restrictions are being eased (May 18 – reopening of restaurants), I am going out more often (though always wearing a mask).”

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P.P.S., a teen in Madrid, Spain

“Quarantine is not anymore an entertaining new activity, but a lifestyle. As for me, I can’t complain, I’ve been coping with it pretty well. Reading adventure books has helped me as a way of evading reality and feeling as if I had gone for a walk at least, and having the school routine as usual tricks my mind into thinking I actually went outside of my home.”

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S.H., a teen in Zurich, Switzerland

“In the beginning of quarantine it was an extreme change, especially now that our online classes on team have officially started. I had to get used to looking after my brother, not being around my friends, because we practically live together and to not going on my phone every time I had nothing to do.”

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E.P., a teen in Zurich, Switzerland

“Only a month ago, you were longing for peace and quiet and a peaceful interruption in the exhausting daily routine, now you only wish for some kind of occupation, even a distraction from all the idleness and the abysmal emptiness of boredom. These spiritual paradoxes, which were formed within a month, prove the basic imperfection of man and our ever-changing desires and desires.”

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M., a teen in Milan, Italy

“The streets of my neighborhood are completely deserted, but every evening someone plays music from their balcony and everybody sings to it! I love how we Italians always manage to be loud!!”

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M.A., a teen in Jesolo, Italy

“I live in a quiet place, in the middle of the countryside, so I could at least go for a walk… I live in a pretty big house, but it was hard to stay at home with my mom, my dad and my two brothers… at first it seemed like a little vacation, it’s true… my brother who hates going to school was happy too, but then we realized we couldn’t even go to soccer and dance, so many things started to be missing. “

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C.P., a teen in Venice Italy

“Maybe the virus wants to bring us back to reality, to the real meaning of things and wants to teach us all the values that we have gradually obscured, the relationships that we have reset in favour of digital distance. Every day I ask myself: “How good was everything before?!”. Let’s hope everything goes smoothly and gets back to the way it was before!”

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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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