Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Isolated for days on end’

In my most recent work, Wanderings, I include a broad range of photographic approaches, including digital capture and output, photo-encaustic on paper, and historical processes such as wet plate collodion. Wanderings began in 2015 as an investigation into place and family, and now amidst the COVID lockdown, I have found myself and my daughter isolated for days on end with nowhere to go but to walk on our six acres. In this space, new worlds have been created, ideas fostered, and photographic collaboration between mother and child has developed.
— Brooke C. White (Oxford, Mississippi)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Cada dia, noche, y año’

March 23.
ACT UP New York posts an image referencing David Wojnarowicz.
The Twitter queers and allies tear it up.
“Why Mar-a-Lago? … this ain’t it.”
“DO NOT COMPARE THESE TWO.”
They forget that the poor and the colored bodies were most impacted by the HIV/VIH and AIDS/SIDA epidemic(s)…
They are suffering.
Cada dia, noche, y año.
No access to health care.
Upward mobility blinds—blinds the better off.
The comparison? The poor and colored bodies suffer(ed) the most.
So if I die because of a lack of resources, take me to Mar-a-Lago.
— Alined Bolero (Orange, California)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Community space is under renovation’

Sheltering in place, New York City. I bike, repeatedly, to visit my girlfriend; she bikes back. Biking is strange, even scary. Pedestrians are everywhere, together and separate, on the sidewalks and the bike path, each jockeying for aerosol-free private space. For several days I am pissed off at the bike path intruders; why don’t they walk or run where it’s safe… away from me and my pent-up bike? And then it hits me. Community space is under renovation. Let it go, I tell myself. Slow down. It’s a new world, maybe a kinder one? Do I have it in me?
— Michael Chase (New York, New York)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘The subtle encroachment of a new age’

At the store, I replenish food supplies and check, again, for cleaning products. I’m struck by the boundaries that have been placed, the subtle encroachment of a new age, an air of sci-fi dystopia. Tall robots clean the aisles. “We’re stronger together,” a soft, feminine voice says over the loudspeaker. There are acrylic shields between guests and clerks, tape on the floor designating six feet between each patron like marks on the stage of a surreal, somber play. I pick up a jar absentmindedly, put it back, feel guilty; I never realized how frequently we touch each other.
— Alexis Bobrik (Berryville, Virginia)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘To survive the storm’

The wind-driven snow has piled up all month into towering drifts with knife-edge crests. There is a white bird, a Rjúpa, a ptarmigan in winter dress. She nestles down in the lee of the drift just below the crest to ride out the storm. Against the snow her eye and beak make tiny black marks. She stays there for hours. She is patient, calm, enduring, safe, well-equipped by nature to survive the storm. I bring this memory forth, and I feel calmer, more able. Nature is generous with her gifts.
— Andrea Krupp (Pennsylvania)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘This week, restiamo a casa’

We came to create an artist-residency program in the half-abandoned, mountain village of Fontecchio. Last month: Rome, no lines at the Vatican Museum, the Auditorium Parco della Musica, a dentist appointment. Three weeks ago: a winding drive for blues at a rural restaurant, to kiss both cheeks of everyone is good manners. The week after: a small dinner party where we sip rum, tap shoes, joke about The Decameron. Last week: to see friends or hike trails solo is a violation of the order. This week, restiamo a casa: he teaches me Tango, I remove wallpaper in long strips.
— Allison DeLauer (Fontecchio, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italia)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Searching for her courage’

I’m thankful my mother isn’t dealing with all this. I’m thankful she doesn’t have to live in fear of another disease infecting her compromised body, though I do wish I could hear her voice. She would respond to the current state of the world with words of courage and comfort. Neither dismissing my fears nor playing into them. She would repeat the words she always spoke to her students: “Face the future with warm courage and high hopes.” My days at home begin by looking out the window and searching for her courage.
— Lisa Kitchens (Brooklyn, New York)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Taking the time to let nature heal’

Went to the woods yesterday. Being amongst the trees and seeing the beginnings of spring green pop up on the forest floor made me cry with gratitude and relief. I’ve been so worried about the natural world for so long and for a moment I could just relax and let it take care of me. And I wasn’t the only one. So many others, of all ages and backgrounds, were out there, at a six foot distance. Walking in the woods, sitting by the creek, taking the time to let nature heal them and give them comfort too.
— Rebecca Schultz (Melrose Park, Pennsylvania)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Fears and tears eclipsed by good deeds’

Nova Scotia winds wildly shake the new house where I’m self-isolating. I wonder when or if my husband can get here from 4,000 kilometers away. Six days seeing no one. Alone here in the unfamiliar. The wind, the dead roses, the blue jays, the crows, the seagulls, and the old gardens in the vast yard call me out. Old stone birdbath statues watch me as I walk by. It is not the old world. The landscape is new, the fears and tears eclipsed by good deeds. We can do this if we live, I think. — Mary Woodbury (Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia)

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘We will know someone’

Yesterday, I phoned my aunt, 68 years old, risk group, to see how she was holding up. She told me that she and her husband, 71, risk group, no longer leave their house. If she remembered anything similar: curfews, hysteric preppers in supermarkets, mass social anxiety; she told me no. Chernobyl: she told me about mushrooms and field plants. Why: she told me that she was twelve when they installed the village’s first landline phone. Then she asked me if I remembered him: who? the deceased, the second: no. The shiver in her voice told me that she did.
— Lisa Schantl (Graz, Austria)

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