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Stories of Resilience

Quarantine Reflection: Part 1


Over a month has gone by since the beginning of quarantine. I am not sure how I will come out of this, but I know now after reflecting on this time I have learned A LOT. What have you learned?
Quarantine feelings

by Maria Luisa Mendiola

A month ago


Is it too soon to start reflecting on my quarantine experience? It has been 1 month, 1 week and 3 days since we went into quarantine. My husband and I started quarantine after we received not one but two messages from “connoisseurs” (first red flag) that the city would be closed the upcoming weekend. A couple of hours later, we found out these messages were fake news, that the city was not going to be shut down (HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY CLOSE NYC?!) but the damage was done. Like many other New Yorkers, we ran to the nearest grocery store to stock up. I remember getting home so exhausted from fear, paranoia and uncertainty that all my husband and I could do was open a bottle of wine, a box of charcuterie and succumb to the numbing effect of Netflix. 

What happened next I can only explain as a deep, biological survival instinct that immediately kicked-in. I was committed to not letting any of our groceries go to waste, counting toilet paper sheets to make sure we were not using too many, and creating some sort of schedule so that my husband and I could split our 300 square feet apartment in a way that wouldn’t bruise our first months of marriage. All of a sudden, promoting our newest collection took last place in my priority list. I became committed to show up for my community in ways I didn’t know how yet, but was energized to test. That is how the weekly Instagram Lives came to be. I figured people were curious, as I was, of how different people were reacting to the lockdown.

A week into quarantine, we decided to venture out for groceries. The solitude that plagued my neighborhood, a neighborhood that is notorious for Tuesday afternoons filled with highschoolers getting ice cream at the Milk Bar, heavy traffic on Bowery and every bar and restaurant with outdoor seating filled to the brim, all of a sudden looked like your 4am weekday. I barely made it to the grocery store, the thoughts that fluttered in my mind: “how is this possible?” “is this the end?” Am I going to die trying to get groceries?” made it impossible to decide which cheese to get in the dairy aisle. I got home emotionally drained, decided the way of the world was too heavy for my shoulder and the only solution would be to curl up in a ball and once again tune in to the opium of the masses. Found the sequel of “To all the boys I have loved” on Netflix and turned my brain off. 

To be continued...

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