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The Stories

R.S., 60, an Office Manager in Murrieta, CA

“I manage an obstetrics and gynecology office. Our business was essential and we did not have to quarantine. At the office, my job was to figure out how to keep patients and staff safe without clear guidance and limited access to medical supplies, run the business with a lower patient load and to keep staff employed. At home my job was to educate and comfort my kids.”

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D.M., a teen in Santiago, Chile

“I think that covid-19 is something very rare for us. Having online classes is very strange and so is not being able to see friends and family. On the other hand, I believe that we can also see the good things about this, as we can know ourselves better and live with family.”

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J.S., 46, a marketer in Atlanta, Georgia

“I don’t know the next time we’ll dance again in some loud bar that’s sticky with the rhythms and sweet warmed; something akin to lust. I like holding you around other people being held…”

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R.I., 18, a student in Paterson, NJ

“It started with us sharing meals together. When I set the table, my parents will slide their placemats down a couple seats. It then transitioned to saying, “Bye, love you!” six feet away before sending them off to work. What made me more upset was seeing the approaches my parents were taking to distance from each other…”

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R.I., 18, a student in Totowa, NJ

“Another thing I didn’t realize was how the pandemic would affect Ramadan and Eid. I know for a fact that it would have been much harder to do if I were still in school because I didn’t have my own kitchen. It would also have bothered my neighbors a lot if they heard a microwave going at 3 AM!”

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M.L.C., 28, a teacher in Mexico, the Philippines

“They have these policy No Work No Pay! indeed Poverty was just around the corner! These Pandemic make me realize that in just a second everything will change! everything will disappear! You cannot control what is happening in our lives…”

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E.A., 19, a student in Sun City, CA

“…This pandemic has ripped apart the façade of what seemed to be a good economy; in reality, this “good economy” was built upon the people who are now disproportionately dying and with no healthcare. I beg my fellow Americans to look at this inequality sternly; why do we have such contempt when we call it out when in reality we’ve pretending like it didn’t exist at all. I have grown so increasingly frustrated to see people think about themselves when I see people that remind me of my father and sisters die on the news for having to work…”

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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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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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