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The Stories

K.E., 51, a consultant in Murrieta, CA

“Being physically separate from others has seriously impacted the sense of community here, and I sense it will be difficult to get that back. The political divides that have become deep, and the different outlooks on COVID and societal restrictions, have pervaded too many things.”

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J.H., a teen in Honolulu, HI

“It wasn’t just school that was affected for me and so many other people. No longer was coronavirus “just like the flu.” We have now lost over a hundred thousand Americans and our society will be fundamentally different when we get out of this.”

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J.B., 79, a retired university professor in Avondale, AZ

“Our eldest Grandson’s a true hero. One of the ‘Red Vests’ managing the ‘Front-End’ of our local grocery store he calms irate customers who don’t want to comply with quarantine and rationing regulations. He’s been continuously exposed to Covid-19 every day for months”

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S.S., 60, a high school teacher in San Marcos, CA

“…And just one commute away, I will be risking my life each and every day at my workplace. I will be a front-line worker, without the personal protective equipment afforded to medical workers, facing students who do not have to follow safety or cleanliness rules for most of the 24 hours in a day. Many of the families in my community believe in magical thinking, believe that God will protect them, and believe in the propaganda spouted every day from President Trump and his corrupted supporters in government and the media. I could not be more disgusted at this willful ignorance. It’s like a death cult…”

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S.T., 41, an echocardiographer in Waukesha, WI

“…Everyday at work we hear something new and new protocols are made. It’s necessary and hard to read everything to keep up with the changes. It is now the end of May. I don’t know if I see my field in healthcare ever being the same again…”

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L.D.R., 35, a marketer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“…Quando se depende de um Estado historicamente negligente e corrupto, nos tempos atuais apoiando um lunático como líder, prova-se também a falha na formação básica a sociedade. A vida em quarentena no Brasil é um desastre à beira de um precipício…”

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M.A.A., 53, a homemaker in Menifee, CA

“Aunque sea Mejicana, la vida de aquí en los Estados Unidos es de salir y de consumir demasiada afuera. Creo que es la razón porque el quarantena nos ha afectado particularmente contra otra naciones, con las protestas que ya veas en la sociedad Americana. Pienso que el mundo ya está respirando un poco más, pero todavía nos hace falta mucho por hacer por este mundo. Con tiempo de reflejar, ya veo que necesitamos cambiar las sistemas de gobierno…”

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D.S., 67, a retired lawyer in Missoula, MT

“It’s odd, though, as the days roll by with sunshine, the full arrival of Spring, and a seeming “normalcy” except for quieter streets and sidewalks not to occasionally be struck hard with a sense that some dark beast is silently slouching our way–that this seeming normalcy is utterly superficial and spurious, a fool’s paradise, and that all over the country and around the world something truly dark and terrible is occurring.”

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M.E.C., 22, a student in Aracaju, Brazil

“Muitas pessoas, incentivadas pelo presidente Bolsonaro, não levam a sério a situação e sinto muita insegurança aqui. Vejo que o caos é ainda pior para a população mais pobre, vez que além da falta de informação, em muito lugares não tem nem acesso a água encanada.”

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J.W.T., 44, a professor in Teresina, Brazil

“O nosso presidente, Jair Bolsonaro, é um necrófilo consumado, um dublê de tirano sem o talento para tal, e sua necropolítica em relação à Covid-19 consiste simplesmente em rechaçar a voz da ciência, minimizar o valor das vidas perdidas e pregar o término da quarentena a fim de salvar a pele do empresariado que financiou sua campanha à presidência.”

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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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