C.L., 23, an engineer in San Diego, CA

In San Diego, it’s normally easy to enjoy the outdoors year-round. This is one of the big reasons why I decided to move here last year. Staying indoors for weeks in quarantine has certainly been boring, but what has made it even more frustrating is being stuck in the house on clear, sunny days with the historic La Playa trail only minutes away and the beautiful Pacific Ocean visible from my bedroom window. I’ve been using quick strolls around the neighborhood and walking the dog (now I get why dogs are always so excited to go on walks!) as excuses to get out of the house, but I’ve really missed being able to take my time relaxing at the local beaches and parks.

In the last couple of weeks, some of the beaches, trails, and parks in San Diego have begun to slowly open up. While I’ve been optimistic that everyone here will be mindful and safe when returning back to our city’s parks, I am a bit concerned about some of the crowded midnight raves of partiers who have come to observe the bioluminescent red tide in my neighborhood park. I hope that everyone will be respectful and follow the city’s health orders so we don’t lose our access to our beaches, trails, and parks.

In many respects, I’ve been lucky during this pandemic. I have a safe, stable job and a nice home here, and for the moment, I’m pretty happy and healthy. However, as my time grows short in San Diego, I’ve realized that I will probably spend the rest of my time here in quarantine. San Diego is a great city, and I wish I could’ve spent more of my time here actually experiencing the city instead of being cooped up at home.

[submitted on 5/12/2020]

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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