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The Stories

B.L., 45, a lab technician in Murrieta, CA

“As an Asian American, I’m living double the fear and the worries! I’m not just worry about the Covid-19 itself, but also worried about the “Asian hate” that it has brought to the surface…I’m worried sending my children back to school…”

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A.L., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“The hardest part of this has been the inability to interact and socialize with some of my friends, and then losing friends due to the distance over the pandemic.”

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A.B., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“I had to miss out on internships, summer programs, and my last year in high school. But it hasn’t been all bad. I’m lucky enough to have derived some good from the situation. I learned to better balance my life with school. I’m thankful that I figured this out before going to college. If I could give advice to others, it would be to sometimes set aside important things when you start to get overwhelmed.”

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N.C., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“My advice for others in quarantine would be to work on something. Find a hobby that will inspire you to become better. I took up speed-cubing during the quarantine and I have bumped my time down from about a 1:45 to consistently less than 45 seconds. I’m not that good, but I am getting better every day and it gives me something to focus on and destress with.”

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I.Z., a teen in Murrieta, CA

“…the hardest thing about quarantine is not being able to see my grandma, especially not being able to hang out with her during the holidays. My grandmother lives in another state so we would probably have to do a two week quarantine before even visiting her, but my family believes it is still too much of a risk to take. We call her on facetime, but, of course it is not the same.”

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S.M., a teen in Pleasanton, CA

“Now, that may seem selfish considering thousands of people are dying, and what I care about is the ‘high school experience,’ but look it from my perspective. Isn’t it scary enough, that in four years I have to decide what to do with my life, and now I have to find out whether I’ll get a chance to do anything? “

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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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C.A., a teen in Fullerton, CA

“I woke up late for school as usual and saw my phone filled with notifications about some virus. The breaking news said that there are thousands of people who are dead because of this virus. I read the news, it said that the virus is called COVID-19 or Coronavirus.”

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A.M., 46, a School Secretary in Murrieta, CA

“The biggest challenge that I am now facing is the toil of children around the country not going to school. I believe that kids need to be going to school. The situation has been messing with my thoughts. I have heard terrible stories about the impact of a virtual school on students and their mental health. At the beginning of quarantine in March and April, the fear of the unknown was another hardship. The fear was paralyzing and I found myself crying a lot.”

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P.M., a teen in Kanpur, India

“I would conclude my journey in quarantine by saying I grew up mentally and emotionally during this phase. I… still have absolutely no idea if or when we would find a “silver bullet” for COVID-19 but I am absolutely grateful for this time and the growth I’ve achieved in this time:)”

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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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