C.P., a teen in Venice Italy

This post is in collaboration with covid9teen

Resetting in Venice

Venice, Italy:

I have been home from school for over three months now. It has become a habit, but the situation is quite oppressive! I didn’t think the 22nd February would be the last day of school. I said goodbye to my classmates with a simple “Goodbye”, knowing that on the 27th February, after a few days off for Carnival, I would see them all in class. But unfortunately that’s not how it happened!

The following Monday everyone barricaded in their houses. The first week was a simple pause to unplug from tests and to sleep a few more hours in the morning. Then the holiday continued, but it didn’t even seem like a holiday anymore – the 15th March became 3rd April, which will then become who knows when, at a date to be fixed even today.

The following weeks were the hardest and the most difficult. And now here we are, a bit confused, living our new lives at a distance, which all look alike. Now, instead of leaving out house, entering the classroom, opening the windows to change the air, waiting for everyone to sit down, taking out books, we watch a video and talk into a microphone. It isn’t an easy situation and everything looks boring! School becomes monotonous and the desire to study is lost. My daily routine has changed: I wake up at 7.00 am, go to my dad’s workplace. At 8:00 am, I log onto Meet for my classes, then I have lunch, study, have dinner and go to sleep. However, lessons normally take place at times similar to school hours.

The commitment that everyone is putting in such an extraordinary situation is very much appreciated. In fact, teachers immediately organized themselves to be able to continue to do their work from home, learning to use completely new digital platforms, no matter how tech-friendly they are. Mornings are occupied by video lessons and online tests, while afternoons are devoted to studying. Practically now, unlike before, I study all day, having nothing else to do! Luckily, I have friends and thanks to technology I can continue to talk to them on video calls. Sometimes I do my homework via Skype with a classmate of mine.

It is really strange that three months ago everything was so different, another life: no masks, no gloves, no online lessons. Maybe it was just all taken for granted! But what was life like before? What was I doing instead of taking video lessons, video-calling friends, constantly watching the news? I lived, simply, without realizing every day how lucky I was, without always really feeling happy. In a digital world with all the comforts, we are suddenly deprived of our freedom: we feel the need to see each other, we miss cinemas, theatres, places of conversation.

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!

[submitted on 6/5/2020]

Learn more about the LiQ and the covid9teen collaboration here

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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