E.G., 32, a graduate student in Palo Alto, CA

In a strange way, COVID-19 has been an equalizing force in my life.

I was 8 months into cancer treatment when the pandemic became a headline. Suddenly, everyone else started seeing the world as I did: as a minefield of germs, a series of public interactions requiring masks and hand sanitizer, a reason to take meetings online and have groceries delivered. Fun fact: a visit to the cancer center, in the midst of COVID-19, looks pretty much the same as it did 6 months ago.

With all of that said, I wouldn’t wish this new reality on anyone. And I hope it’s a distant memory, sooner rather than later. When that happens, I also hope we can hold this moment in our hearts, and remember that – for some people in our community – this is what life feels like all of the time. COVID just gave their fears – my fears – a new name.

[submitted on 6/19/2020]

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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