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The Stories

S.S., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“This situation affects my mental health in extreme ways. My brain is longing for the social connections that school and the freedoms that turning 16 brings me. I cannot exercise the things that I have waited for so long in terms of life and friends because of the people in power and the people that cannot follow simple directions.”

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C.P., a teen in Gisborne, New Zealand

“My mother works in the hospital and my father worked within the grocery store so we were always cautious about the way we did things. We talked at dinner about covid and all the crazy things it had people doing. We laughed about people wearing plastic bags or Stormtrooper masks (Starwars) when they went grocery shopping…The thought of covid was constantly on my mind, a stressor that was inescapable.”

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H.B., 21, a student in Dallas, TX

“The anger and frustration brought by a global pandemic has subsided and I have gotten used to the ways in which this is our new normal. I’ve gotten closer to many friends i didn’t expect to and have found myself becoming more and more family oriented. While I was used to always looking for the next location or opportunity that could come my way, this pandemic has given me the space and time to slowdown and really consider what I plan to do with my time and in the future.”

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M.S., 44, a poet and editor in Jersey City, NJ

“I still remember the afternoon of March 13, 2020, when I started following the official site of the New Jersey Coronavirus Dashboard and the number of cases started to climb up like mercury on a hot thermometer. I was anxious due to the fact that my nine-year-old was in the school playing and socializing with his peers with no fear and awareness about the pandemic. I requested the school for a day off […] my fears were realized when the mayor ordered a state lockdown the very next Monday.

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X.Y., 63, a business owner in Linfen, China

“疫情这个坏事,在我们家反而成了好事了。[…]我就说,要不咱俩直接跟他说了吧, 择日不如撞日,反正因为疫情什么也干不成,还不如把这件事情给办了。[…] 我和姑娘一人拽着他一只手,我就跟他说,孩子是同性恋。老公一听见这三个字,眼泪立马就流出来了。”

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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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