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The Stories

J.M., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“It’s been almost 365 days since everything took a turn for the worse, and most of us are still in shock. I could have it a lot worse but it is still pretty hard. I was getting less hours at work so it became difficult for my mom and I to pay our bills and expenses, grocery stores were almost completely empty…”

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O.S., a teen in Murrieta, CA

” think I felt the virus’s presence sooner than most Americans because I have family in Taiwan. When my aunt, uncle, and little cousin came to visit for Chinese New Year in February, just a month before widespread US lockdowns, my aunt spent the entire time in self-imposed quarantine. She only smiled once during her visit: when we gave her a collection of cloth masks, gifts from Taiwanese relatives that we never needed to use in the clean California air.”

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E.M., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“I think that the hardest thing about quarantine and COVID-19 has been going to school online…This semester, I feel like some of my teachers seem to be expecting more than if we were actually in person. I am finding it more difficult to balance my life between social, personal, and school.”

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N.N., a teen in Chennai, India

“Personally, keeping a schedule, e.g getting to bed at a certain time, has really helped keep my life fairly structured during these chaotic times. So I’d probably encourage others to be slightly productive, even if it isn’t studying/work, something like baking is super fun and you get some great treats out of it.”

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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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F.S., a teen in Warsaw, Poland

“In March and April, during the lockdown, I virtually did not leave my house at all, maybe with an exception for a short bike ride every two days, but since May, as the restrictions are being eased (May 18 – reopening of restaurants), I am going out more often (though always wearing a mask).”

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P.P.S., a teen in Madrid, Spain

“Quarantine is not anymore an entertaining new activity, but a lifestyle. As for me, I can’t complain, I’ve been coping with it pretty well. Reading adventure books has helped me as a way of evading reality and feeling as if I had gone for a walk at least, and having the school routine as usual tricks my mind into thinking I actually went outside of my home.”

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M., a teen in Milan, Italy

“The streets of my neighborhood are completely deserted, but every evening someone plays music from their balcony and everybody sings to it! I love how we Italians always manage to be loud!!”

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A., a teen in South Tyrol, Italy

“I think, if everyone goes through this time with a positive mindset, it will be easier and you can look forward to enjoy the beautiful weather with your friends in future. I believe that we could master the situation well together.”

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S.M., a teen in PA

“My advice to others is don’t give up constitutional rights for the illusion of safety and to do research into COVID19 instead of believing everything on the news.”

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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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