L., 19, a student in Dalian, China

The onset of COVID-19 coincided with my grandpa’s cancer diagnosis. As he prepared for surgery in China’s hospital, news about the new pandemic was spreading through the world at an alarming speed. Being across the globe at the time, I felt lost and powerless. As schools shut down across the US, I was finally able to book a flight home. There, I spent 14 days in a simly lit hotel room. Apart from a medic who took my daily temperature and brought my meals, the door to that hotel room was never opened. In those 14 days, I had time to think and reflect over all that has happened in my first year of college. This year was a disaster. But some part in me was glad that the pandemic has brought me home to my family. I know my parents would never let me come home to support my grandpa in regular times. They would demand that I focused my time on school. But now, I had a reason to be back and, despite the long flight and quarantine, I was glad to be back home.

[submitted on 05/11/2020]

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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