B.U., a teen in São Paulo, Brazil

This post is in collaboration with covid9teen

Fique em Casa en Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil:

The first case of COVID-19 in Brazil  was confirmed on February 26th and, twenty days later, there already were 234 people infected with the virus, most of them in São Paulo, where I live. As the number of infections grew faster and faster, my school decided to adopt online classes on the 16th of March and on the 23rd all schools in my state were closed as ordered by the governor of São Paulo. A campaign called “Fique em Casa” (Stay at Home) was launched and people were instructed to only leave the house when extremely necessary, and that’s what we’ve been doing. All services considered non necessary are closed.

Today marks the 16th day I haven’t left my house – except for the one time I went out to take groceries to my grandmother. At first, I thought the quarantine would be a great opportunity to rest and maybe to pick up a new hobby, but online classes have taken pretty much all my time and I am – if not more – just as tired as I was before school was closed. Not leaving the house at all and still having to do all the work has definitely been bothering me. It’s almost like if I was living at school and had to do school work all the time. I do try to distract myself from school whenever I can, so I’ve been messing around with my guitar,  watching movies with my mom and playing Just Dance quite a lot. I miss going out for runs and walks around the city. I also miss my friends and their hugs.

São Paulo is a city that never sleeps. It is the largest city in South America and the streets are always full. It is also the city with the most cases of COVID-19 in Brazil. The state and the city governors have taken measures to encourage people to stay inside.  Therefore, as expected, the number of people out on the streets has dropped drastically these past few weeks. However, there are still some people – including president Bolsonaro who called the disease a “small flu” and said that people shouldn’t isolate themselves –  who have not quite grasped the severity of the situation we are currently in, which worries me.  

These past months, the media has been filled with bad news and growing numbers. It seems as if the virus is ubiquitous. It got to a point that it became a bit overwhelming for me.  I’ve been trying to distance myself from all this negativity now and trying to surround myself with a few good news; I’ve limited the amount of time dedicated to read and watch the news, to just enough amount of time for me to be informed. It has definitely helped me and it made me a lot less anxious – I recommend trying it. 

I hope everyone reading this is healthy and safe. Take care and stay home!

[submitted on 4/3/2020]

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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