Connect with Adolescent
Close x white

Life What are the Adolescent creatives doing during Coronavirus lockdown?

Mar. 27, 2020
Avatar anna vo.jpg4a76f10f 4aa4 446a 8802 e343ded487a6

It’s been almost a week since the enactment of a nationwide lockdown. California was the first state to order residents to stay indoors. Nonessential gatherings are banned; our plans and spring-break trips have been canceled. But on the bright side, you can now save the world by not leaving your bedroom.

As of March 24th, 16 more states across America have announced statewide stay-at-home orders. During this time, many artists’ projects are postponed indefinitely. But those who work in solitude have been given a chance to dig into their inner creative space. 

How are people spending their time, confronting their boredom, and staying sane? We asked the Adolescent team for their input.

Vivian Chambers, Writer. Fort Worth, Texas

Vivian writes about films and feelings. Read her most recent Adolescent essay here. 

How have you been spending your time?

As somewhat of an introvert, the quarantine isn’t that bizarre for me. Or at least it wasn’t at first. I’m spending most of my time watching movies and reading books, and I’m trying really hard to keep my productivity up by writing and doing online yoga. It’s also nice to be with my family and have one of my sisters home from college. It’s definitely getting harder and harder as the days go by. Being in isolation gives me a lot of time to think, which can be good, but sometimes it makes me go a little crazy and I start to feel sad.

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

I had my last day of high school without knowing, and now I may not get a prom and graduation to finish it off. I’ve always looked forward to those things as a symbolic ending to my high-school adolescence. And now I may not get to say goodbye.

Have you learned anything from this situation?

I’ve learned a lot about how important solitude and slowing down is. It really sucks—being stuck inside all day without your friends, missing all these things you’ve planned for years. I know there isn’t necessarily a “bright side” to this horrible pandemic, but we have silence, solitude, family, and an endless amount of movies, books, and music to occupy ourselves with. We have to work with what we’ve got. Cook something, read something, watch a movie. Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard is doing daily livestream shows for different charities—listen to those!

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

Watch Jojo Rabbit’s last scene on YouTube. That’s what I’ll be doing. Really, I’ll hug my friends and spend every waking moment with them. We may have lost the end of our senior year, but we have one last summer together before we go our separate ways. So whatever time we have left, I’ll hold onto it tightly.

Anova Hou, Photographer. Vancouver, Canada

Anova photographs portraiture and editorial projects. Check out her most recent series here. 

How have you been spending your time?

I'm trying to stick to a routine, but to be honest, the days seem to blur together. This week I’ve been editing shoots, reading my favorite novels, baking cookies, and teaching myself graphic design for an upcoming project.

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

Shoots were rescheduled. I miss being with friends. However, I am deeply grateful that I have a safe space to stay in. My work, which was meant to be in an exhibition, has been switched to an online showcase on the gallery's website instead. We're hopefully having a Zoom reception, which will be an interesting experience. 

Have you learned something from this situation?

I've learned to slow down and appreciate the smallest things, like a warm drink or watching the sunset through a window. I miss the luxury of meeting and creating with new people. It's been important for me to reach out to friends, and spend time with my family.

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

Celebrate a family member’s birthday properly, enjoy the city with newfound appreciation, return my overdue library books, and get coffee with everyone whom I miss.

Wen Hsiao, Writer. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Wen writes about culture, entertainment, and relationships. Read one of her essays here.

How have you been spending your time?

I’ve been doing better than I expected! I’m staying in Amsterdam alongside my Chinese and Italian friends. I’ve been playing Animal Crossing and keeping up with my online schoolwork. 

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

Our physical exams were canceled, so none of us know if we should be studying or not. Writing feels more like a full-time job under quarantine!

 Have you learned something from this situation?

I learned that I can cope with solitude and loneliness quite well. I do miss my friends, but I’ve been keeping up with them through video calls and visiting their islands on Animal Crossing. 

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

I’ll take the metro to my friend's house for a movie night. 

Gabrielle Barrera, Photographer. Cincinnati, Ohio

 Gabrielle takes photos of women, their relationships, and their environment. Check out her work here.

How have you been spending your time?

My roommates and I have been going on walks. Sometimes we sit on the porch or on the roof. I’ve been taking self-portraits in my house, making banana bread, writing lots, and organizing my space. I’ve also been reading Woman and Nature by Susan Griffin. 

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

I go to art school and rely on the resources there for my studio practices. We’ve been ordered to stay out of the building, which means we’ve lost access to the facilities and studio space that we need. 

Have you learned something from this situation?

I miss going to class and socializing every day. Being able to leave my house and go anywhere I want. What I have learned, though, is that we’re adaptable and empathetic, capable of getting through this.  

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

I hope to go back to shooting with new people, and seeing the people that I haven’t been able to see.

Raven Yamamoto, Writer. Maui, Hawaii

Raven writes for radio, hard news, broadcast, and podcast. Check out her podcast here.

How have you been spending your time?

I just made it home and I’ve mostly been processing the entire situation. It breaks my heart to come home and feel like a burden because I could be a risk to my family if I unknowingly carry the virus. My family has to accommodate me and bring me food—it all feels very surreal. I’ve tried to take my mind off it all by throwing myself into creating and being productive. Doing the things that still make me feel like a person (getting ready, doing my makeup, exercising, doing my skincare routine). 

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

My financial situation has been rocked the most. I went from working three on-campus jobs to being completely unemployed when I still have bills to pay. My family is also facing a period of unemployment. I’m happy to quarantine and push through a month of social isolation if that means it’ll bring back the nation’s health, but as someone who isn’t well-off, this has definitely taken a toll on my mental health.

Have you learned something from this situation?

Quarantine has forced me to ask myself whether “I don’t have time” was a valid excuse for not creating while being in school. As a college student, I’m often burnt out on a daily basis due to commitments on campus and off. Am I putting off creating because I’m lazy or because I’m truly tired? How can I integrate creating into my daily life? Now that I have nothing but time, there’s a lot of self-reflection to be done.

 What will you do first when quarantine is over?

I’m going to my favorite beach. There’s a spot I’ve made my own here on Maui. I miss being with the ocean and the sky. This shelter-in-place has brought me anything but peace, and I’d really like to find that again.