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The Stories

E.Y., 18, a student in Shenzhen, China

“在回国路上我得到很多人的帮助。[…]在从隔离点坐飞机回到自己家的一路,我其实能感受到虽然检查非常严格,但人民都很温暖。没有像微博上说的那么仇视我们留学生。[…] 在小区门口登记资料时小区的一同乡的保安还会骄傲地跟同事说,这是我们那的大学生,成绩又好又懂事,一个人在国外学习呢。”

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D.M., 70, a retired physical therapist in Lakewood, CA

“I have been a Shin Buddhist all my life. […]We relied on each other for help and assistance. When times were hard, everyone shared what we had, everyone helped each other in the fields or to work on a project, be it church, community or neighborhood in need. If you had nothing to give, you offered your kind words, support or offer to help. […] In this time of Pandemic, I have seen many of the things I grew up with and recognize so much of the Shin Buddhist lessons I have heard and seen thru the years…”

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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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M.M., 36, a writer in Monroe, WA

“I asked one guard in the dining-hall why he refused to wear his mask, in light of the death which he could be unknowingly introducing into my community, and he smiled as he responded:”Man, I’m just trying to spread the love.”And I was thinking: Oh yeah, they don’t view us as human. Why would they care if they kill us?”

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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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