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The Stories

A.M., 46, a School Secretary in Murrieta, CA

“The biggest challenge that I am now facing is the toil of children around the country not going to school. I believe that kids need to be going to school. The situation has been messing with my thoughts. I have heard terrible stories about the impact of a virtual school on students and their mental health. At the beginning of quarantine in March and April, the fear of the unknown was another hardship. The fear was paralyzing and I found myself crying a lot.”

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D.H., 65, a Lecturer at Endicott College in Somerville, MA

“Being the walker in the city that I am I took a shorter-long walk this afternoon. The weather was crisp, a classic early spring sort of day…I noticed while walking many people were following the six foot rule, as they swerved away from me like I was a leper.”

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N.N., a teen in Berkeley, CA

“Summer didn’t feel like summer because nothing really changed except for the fact that I wasn’t doing schoolwork all day, but it wasn’t the break I needed. It was not the stress-free summer I usually have – how could it be, I was starting to apply to college and things quickly turned downhill for my family.”

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K.A., a teen in Palatine, IL

“The pandemic taught me not to take anything for granted because all my junior year of high school plans and summer plans to go to France got canceled in a matter of days.”

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P.M., a teen in Kanpur, India

“I would conclude my journey in quarantine by saying I grew up mentally and emotionally during this phase. I… still have absolutely no idea if or when we would find a “silver bullet” for COVID-19 but I am absolutely grateful for this time and the growth I’ve achieved in this time:)”

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S.M., a teen in Pleasanton, CA

“Netflix became my best friend, and I spent all day staring at some screen. After weeks and weeks of wallowing in self-pity and boredom, I decided to be productive. So after, a few days of minimal planning, I decided to start a blog!”

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D.V., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“School was weird because my school offered distance learning as an optional assignment and their was no interaction with other teachers or students. The only incentive was a letter grade boost if we did 90% of assignments so I did distance learning for some of my harder AP classes I had B’s in. This went on for the first few months like March, April, May.”

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M.C., a teen in Murrieta, CA

” I have been through pain, happiness, stress, excitement, and sadness through this taxing quarantine. In the end, I have learned the valuable life lesson that everything happens for a reason. I will not always get what I want, but I can learn from the journey and emotions that I am currently experiencing and use it to form my future self.”

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C.R., a teen in Australia

“Personally, I was deeply affected during the pandemic because my grandmother (who lives in America) came down with the virus. This was a big scare to me and my family and I got really worried. The thing was that we could not even travel to her to help her and even if we could, we would have a massive chance of getting the virus ourselves.”

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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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