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The Stories

S.S., 20, a student in Irvine, CA

“Another fascinating personal revelation I’ve had during quarantine surrounds my lack of hobbies. […] I am slightly saddened that I can’t take an interest in books, piano, or other hobbies I used to have like I did when I was a kid. There are also lots of new skills I am eager to learn such as skateboarding but I can’t find the energy to go out and get started and even when I do it’s inconsistent and half-hearted at best. I don’t know if this stems from exhaustion so much as a fear of failure I feel is much more present in my generation surrounding new things even at the young age of 20…”

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N.S., 62, an in-home caregiver in Sammamish, WA

“…My boyfriend and I have been in quarantine at home since the middle of March. The two of us have chosen to be extra cautious because he is Disabled. […] The crazy thing about that is that in some ways the “stay at home” part of this pandemic is not so difficult. Even so we have had to make some tough decisions and some life changes. The most difficult was putting on hold any assistance from outside Caregivers…”

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E.K., 73, retired, in Westminster, CA

“Within this new atmosphere, our gratitude, as a Buddhist, for each other and others has grown even stronger through the pandemic. We begin our day with deep appreciation to the many unselfish and essential people that place their lives in front of the mysterious virus that lurks outside…”

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M.D., 19, a pre-med student in Long Grove, IL

“Having talked to my mom about how things are going in the hospital, I feel like it’s really surprising how fragile human health is, and it’s like an extra factor in the fear of the unknown. It shows you how much government itself values life and how problematic the healthcare system can be. Underlying issues with healthcare and government are more apparent, but perhaps with how some Americans have been responding, these issues are much, much more. America will do the most to try and stop a problem, but it’ll work harder to make sure there’s something to blame for it.”

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S.Y., 19, a student in Fairfax, VA

“I have donated to a couple charities, but that didn’t even feel real – I have been so isolated in my house that I don’t really know what’s going on in the outside world now. It’s sad that so many people have died, their lives turning into a number on the death count. What’s even more sad is that I don’t even feel anything anymore. I just want this to be over…”

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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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