Quarantine Diary

Day 1(ish)

I actually started self-quarantine about 2 weeks before the goverment started taking this whole COVID-19 seriorusly. On March 15, 2020 I decided to start this project photographing at least one image a day documenting tid bits of this new temporary normal.

.

My wife is crancking up on her jucing. Hoping it will help her immune system get stronger. She offered me some celery juice. I tried it. Not for me

Day 2

I’m staring enjoy and appreaciate little things. The light coming through the bathroom window, creating shadows.

Thought we were somewhat stocked on grocieres. But we heard from someone the possibility of a nationwide lockdown. Went out for some more grocieries. Immediately regretted the decision. No one at the supermarket was mindful of keeping some distance. All this effort to stay away from people to risk getting infected buying groceries out of fear.

Not even sure if we are buying the right things. Once I get to the supermarket, my mind goes blank. I’m overwhlemed by the feeling of buying for survivial.

DAY 3

This wasn’t a great day in general. Sat most of the day watching news reports and worrying. Chatted live with CBS reporter David Begnaud on Instagram. Talked about my anxiety during this new reality.

DAY 4

We’ve been taking our temperature regularly. Yes, we are paranoid, a little bit. Today my wife had a bit of a higher temp (98.8). Freaked out a little.. Her temperature is staying under that temperature afterwards. She has an occasional cough. Hoping it’s just allergies.

DAY 5

We live on a 5th floor walk up building. We’ve always complained about going up and down those stairs. Today that has become a lifeline. The rooftop is only one floor above. We went out for some fresh air and sun rays. We’re planning on going up more often, just to pretend we are going out of the house.

Namibia, my wife. Enjoying a little the light of day.

I am a shadow. Feel a little bit like that sometimes.

Day 6

Tinkering today for a bit. Woke up with my allergies flaring, at least I’m crossing my finders that’s all it is.

DAY 7

Woke up with a stuffy/runny nose. Really hoping it’s only allergies. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this paranoid these days.

Day 8

Rainy days are that much gloomier now. Also a little more romantic.

DAY 9

Sun came out today. It encouraged me to take some time to do some stretches. I discovered my shadow, once again.

DAY 10

Breakfast for dinner to soothe the soul amidst a one more day of uncertainty. Got some sad news from back home today.

DAY 11

Reaching out from within.

DAY 12

Others.

Last frame was taken at 7pm when my neighbors came out to #ClapBecauseWeCare.

DAY 13

Acceptance…

As mentioned on Day 4, my wife had been running a low grade fever. This lasted for several days with her tempertature going up and down. She then developed other mild symptoms over the next few days. Last night she woke up and realized she’d lost her sense of smell and now her sense of taste is also fading. From the information I’ve gathered, there’s a realistic possibility she has COVID-19 and by proximity, I might have it as well, tho so far I haven’t developed any symptoms. My hope is that her symptoms stay on the mild side as they’ve been so far. Of course there’s no way to know for sure since testing is only avaibalble to people with critical symptoms. Which I understand, but at the same time the uncertaintly is unsetteling.

The worst part is that we’ve both tried to be as responsible and careful as possible. Yet, in spite of our best efforts, looks like it still got to us. Hence, over the last three days I’ve come to terms with the situation and decided take things one step at a time.

In the meantime we’ll keep drinking fresh press fruit and vegetable juices to give our bodies a vitamin boost. They’re also quite satisfying.

DAY 14

It is impressive the amount of time we now dedicate to making FaceTime calls. One of the most positive sides of this whole confinement situation is that is to show us how much we need to rely in our loved ones in difficult times. Under normal circumstances I would speak with my family back in Puerto Rico perhaps once every week or less. For no particular reason, that’s just the way we’ve always been. Now, not one day goes by that we all don’t check on each other. Same thing has happened with friends.

The most curious part is that there’s not a whole lot new information to share on each call. Since we can’t get out of the house, there’s really nothing new to share. I guess we just want to remind each other to stay strong.

DAY 15

The wealthiest city in the largest economy in the world is crumbling under the pressure. I’ve never relied on online grocery shopping, I’ve even frown upon it. Yet under the current circumstances is the only way I can try to avoid getting out of the house and risk getting infected. Sadly, all the online services are not being able to keep up with the demand and some of the biggest warehouse stores are showing items out of stock. Is this bound to get worst ? Are we expecting food shortages ? I surely hope that’s not the case.

DAY 16

Breath…

DAY 17

Home made masking.

DAY 19

Elixir

DAY 20

Birthdays, now.

DAY 22

Honest peek

DAY 23

Modern communications.

DAY 24

As many other artists and freelancers, my income has been impacted by the current quarantine situation. Learning that we are now elegible for Unemployment Insurance, I went ahead and filed a claim online. Only, I made a mistake. Since the form is not designed for self-employed folks like me, I ended up answering some of the questions incorrectly. Because of that my application had to be finished by phone. That was last week. Since then, I’ve been calling evener single day to no avail. This morning I broke down while trying again. Anxiety and frustration don’t mix well together.

DAY 26

Instagram live interviews have become a great way to engage with our communities. Even tho the feature has been available for quite a while, this days we are finding it to be a way to gather together with our peers.

DAY 27

Hand washing today. I refuse to use the building’s tiny laundry room for now. Am I becoming afraid of other humans ? Am I too paranoid ?

Namibia took a break from sewing masks to take an online flamenco class.

DAY 28

Amongst the chaos…

DAY 29

Tout à l’inverse

DAY 33

A silence broken, by the light turned song.

DAY 34

Full Production Mode: My wife is an independent fashion designer. I am freelance photographer. We have both been greatly financially impacted by the current situation. On DAY 17 I posted a picure of my wife making a face mask. The main reason for that was because we had not been able to find any masks for ourselves and we decided to try and make our own. We some reasearched and axperimented finally coming up with two models, a normal one and one for bearded folks like me. After some thought, we decided that perhaps we could do a small production of masks for sale to help us get thru finnancially. To our surprise my wife’s website was flooded with orders immediately after going live! NOW IT’S GAME ON !

DAY 35

Our daily thanks…

DAY 36

It’s been a while since the last time I cried. It is rare occurrence. I don’t know why I won’t or can’t. Most of the time, I am not even aware that I am sad. Or how sad I am. Until I breakdown. It just happended, tonight.

I wish I could tell you why, but the reasons escape me. That’s usually how it goes when you can’t cry. When you do, the reasons pour along with the many tears you haven’t cried in months. Beacuse you are not crying for one thing. You are crying for all the things you haven’t wept for for so long. I wish I could cry more…I wish I could let go. I wish I didn’t feel like I need to be always in control. Because I don’t want to be. I just…I just don’t…I just don’t know.

DAY 38

My hands are so irritated from the obsessive washing and sanitizing. Like, even the thought of going out the door triggers a compulsion to go wash my hands.

DAY 39

Playing…?

DAY 40

All hands on deck.

DAY 41

Yearning for light.

DAY 43

Today was a rough day. For the first time, after all of these days in confinement, I felt a surge of creative longing. I missed aiming my lens at others. Crafting a portrait. Looking at the eyes of another human being thru my lens and try to convey their heart thru a photograph. And then, I felt fear.

DAY 44

Coffee, black.

DAY 46

Down the hole.

DAY 47

A May Day, but no help in sight.

Today is May 1st. Rent is due. We are still waiting for the stimulus check. We still have no response from the unemployment insurance or pandemic unemployment assistance. All of our calls of distress have been ignored. The promised helps, are not coming, at least not yet. Are we going to drown?

DAY 48

Others, coping.

DAY 50

More coping…

DAY 53

I haven’t been out of the house, at all, in two months. The closest I’ve been to seeing the light of day is when I come out to the fire escape or the few times (maybe 2 or 3) that I have dared venture to up to the rooftop. Now we learned that in NYC, according to a new survey, the latest group of new COVID-19 infections is people who claim having been sheltering at home…Cue new wave of panic and confusion in 5, 4, 3, 2..

DAY 55: Mother’s Day

Things back home are getting worst…My mom has not been doing well, and I am stuck here many miles away, not knowing what to do.

DAY 58

Whenever I see the sun come out, I make it a point to stand outside my fire escape for a few minutes. I breath the fresh air and let the light of the sun pierce thru my pupils. As I was out there, I heard thumping noise, and noticed this little boy. Banging against the window, looking down, looking up, looking out. I am that boy. Looking for answers. Looking for a way out. Not knowing any better. Not right now.

DAY 60

Smoke

DAY 63

On the first weekend of March, we went to Philadelphia to visit our nephew. That weekend we bonded strongly over music. He loves the song Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley. I would sing the song for him as he requested it over and over. Each time midway through the chorus he would take my ukulele off my hands and try to play himself. Since that weekend he started calling me “Tío Yo-yo” (Uncle Yo-yo, because of the song’s chorus).

His second birthday is coming up so I decided to send him an early present. After the packaged arrived on Friday, it was left in the “corona corner” until Sunday. I could hardly wait to see his reaction. On Sunday afternoon we FaceTime’d my sister in law to unbox the gift together.

Inside the box, a little toy ukulele waited for him. As he opened the box, his face lit up with excitement. I think he couldn’t believe his eyes! I started playing songs for him and he tried to follow along. Moving his little lips trying to sing the lyrics.

Over the last two months and a half this has been by far the happiest moment I’ve lived. Yet my heart sinks every time I think of the crude reality. When will I be able to see him again, face to face. When will I be able to hug him again? Or my mom? Or anyone for that matter?

But hey, happy thoughts right ! For now, I will cherish this moment as a gem and trust some day, we will hug other humans again.

DAY 65

To my wife Namibia:

Our craziness together is what’s keeping my sane. Thank you !

DAY 66

No comment…

DAY 71

Famous last pose.

DAY 72

Ecce Omar

DAY 73

Bubbles, while we all are living in our bubbles.

DAY 74


Getting emotionally and physically prepared to face this new world.

%d bloggers like this: