Stories from Quarantine
March 25, 2020 1:26 PM   Subscribe

The Social Distance Project: "a website that started from a tweet and raised $5,000 in less than 2 days. i asked for anonymous gossip from couples who were co-quarantining together. after receiving submissions, i decided to compile them (with permission) and raised money for various foundations, charities, and people affected by coronavirus. "
posted by greenish (29 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
This is incredible.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:15 PM on March 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

So depressing.
posted by 41swans at 2:32 PM on March 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Long form Post Secret?
posted by Fukiyama at 2:40 PM on March 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yes, these are pretty darn depressing
posted by Windopaene at 3:15 PM on March 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

So much for all the Coronakids that are meant to show up in nine months time....
posted by bumpkin at 4:02 PM on March 25, 2020

It's so much of exactly the kind of thing I expected from this. I am seriously glad to be lucky enough to not be caught in a quarantine in an abusive relationship, without a job, and unable to escape.

Godspeed, everyone.
posted by deadaluspark at 4:02 PM on March 25, 2020 [12 favorites]

Well, that's one way to make me feel better about being quarantined alone...
posted by btfreek at 4:10 PM on March 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

tough love: You're not wrong, you have reasonable needs which you're communicating & she's being emotionally immature by making this about whether you love her or not

trial by fire: Honestly it is unsafe to be having quarantine sex anyway, because, quarantine

getting (sleep)over it: This might not be a breakup, unless you want it to be? He needs to communicate better!!

stir crazy: These might be depression symptoms on your boyfriend's end but like I get your frustration

going this alone: Your husband is the fucking worst, can you lock the door or dig a moat around your house or something

straight from the kelly’s mouth: "The virus travels in rain drops" is a great line to use out of context


snap judgement: Like I get it but PLEASE stop stalking your ex on Snap Map, it's not an action capable of doing anything besides hurting you emotionally; maybe delete your whole Snapchat if you have to

the only science happening in my home is a sick social experiment: Can you move his gaming setup back into the living room? Can you work in the living room? I feel like the logistics are addressable here & maybe what's really going on is you're annoyed he gets to play Fortnite while you have to work

mom’s house, mom’s rules: Okay wow that is fucked up

NSFW: What does "I also told him that when he kisses me for the first time I want to drunk" mean? When he kissed me for the first time I wasn't too drunk? I need more information about your (no doubt HR-violating) relationship with your coworker!

do HR rules apply during a pandemic?: Okay do you work at the same company as NSFW or

no true home: I mean I like lasagna but my mom is also a feeder so I get it. Did you ever watch that "Your Roommate Plays the Indigo Girls" Flash thing by Lore Sjoberg?

SodaStream©: Definitely consider transitioning to online D&D

cleaning the shit off the fan: Honestly impressed that you've been friends for 20 years with someone you live with

but when he’s home…: Is it over-generalizing if I say that anyone who feels the need to lecture you about why they're not an alcoholic is definitely an alcoholic?

gumstruck: I have definitely been in the place where your mom was when she put gum in her ears & I feel for her

the only thing he has going: You and stir crazy should swap boyfriends honestly

virtual dating men: Hang in there sweetheart, you're doing the right thing

sibling solidarity: When I was nine years old I brought a king-sized Butterfinger bar home from a sleepover and my dad ate it; ask me if I remember this thirty years later

chicken soup: I mean, they're chickens, they don't understand that they're not supposed to eat your tulips? they're chickens.

i just said i’m quarantined: THANK you, SOMEONE understands the concept of quarantine

something old, something new, something borrowed, something flu: Oh honey I know it's an intense disappointment but yeah no that wedding ain't happening

dental dam make out: Wait... people actually own dental dams? Who knew!

divorce: I am crying from laughing about this

there’s a reason i don’t home school my kids: You see this, the person who if you happened to be at a Best Buy in CA, they were the mother who had her daughter scream loudly “Fuck you mom! I hate you”? Teen girls want iPads, that was your first and last mistake

I couldn’t help but wonder: Those seven years already happened, if you're miserable now and the brightest version of your future is "maybe with a TON of work & therapy we'll have a CHANCE at not being miserable together" then SERIOUSLY JUST BREAK UP

this quarantine is actually a good thing in the long run: 1) A guy having a girlfriend & you hating his personality is a pretty good reason to stop liking him yeah 3) Maybe examine your expectations around "people being there for you" while also accepting that they're autonomous full humans with their own needs & problems

irresponsible and morally dubious: Not that this necessarily helps anything but you're right, you're just right

Slept in a motel: There's a lot to sort out here but I firmly believe that if you didn't sneeze into your hands, you shouldn't have to wash your hands, it's just common sense

Fresh limes: If your boyfriend REALLY loves you he should accept your need to twice-daily protect yourself from the ravages of scurvy amirite ladies

Noise cancelling headphones: I bought a pair myself a couple months ago because I work from home & my boyfriend decided to replay Breath of the Wild & the sound of him catching Koroks in the other room was making me insane but I didn't want to squash his joy. We were already at home with each other for most of the day so I have nothing interesting to contribute to this list of stories.
posted by taquito sunrise at 4:12 PM on March 25, 2020 [6 favorites]

This is a very welcome antidote to all the "lol I ate all my snacks" and "quarantine is retirement for millennials" and every other account I see out there that makes this time look like a fun cool time to catch up on Netflix and wine.

I'm busier than I ever have been, trying to maintain an 8-hour workday remotely WHILE doing childcare WHILE keeping house WHILE being in conflict with my spouse. And! I consider myself lucky!

I hope for all of us that things mellow out soon and that we get our heads right for the long haul.
posted by witchen at 5:31 PM on March 25, 2020 [16 favorites]

the sound of him catching Koroks in the other room was making me insane

I'm replaying Breath of the Wild and that sound is driving me insane! And I've got like 870 of them left to find, too.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 5:40 PM on March 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

I kind of love this, though. Mind, I started with before they hatch, which is making me grin unreasonably: the narrative of having been through Some Shit with one's fairly new partner and gritting teeth to handle a New Kind Of Shit together is, ah, deeply familiar. And mx. sciatrix and I have now been through about ten years together, and it's funny but this is actually not the most horrible thing we've faced down.

And living in a vacuum is my life, yeah, from both of us at one another. There's a certain comforting, relieving joy at these stories. I feel seen. I feel weirdly hopeful, way more hopeful than I do at things that don't feel real.

Thank you for sharing this chunk of humanity.
posted by sciatrix at 5:54 PM on March 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

It's really tough for those who are alone during the Shelter in Place.
I'm just so fortunate to have so many imaginary friends - probably the only thing that's keeping me sane.
posted by speug at 5:55 PM on March 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

heterosexual life as always looks horrifying
posted by poffin boffin at 6:02 PM on March 25, 2020 [22 favorites]

I agree with taquito sunrise—though a lot of these are depressing, divorce had me weeping with laughter. I also tried to read gumstruck to mr. hgg and couldn’t make it all the way through coherently because I was laughing so hard.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:41 PM on March 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

With these kind of isolation stories I try to remember that British Woman:
(I met her once as she came through town on a book signing to support a group of Buddhist nuns that she sponsored)

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo (born 1943) is a bhikṣuṇī in the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. She is an author, teacher and founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in Himachal Pradesh, India. She is best known for being one of the very few Western yoginis trained in the East, having spent twelve years living in a remote cave in the Himalayas, three of those years in strict meditation retreat.

Vicki Mackenzie, who wrote Cave in the Snow about her, relates that what inspired the writing of the book was reading Tenzin Palmo's statement to a Buddhist magazine that "I have made a vow to attain Enlightenment in the female form - no matter how many lifetimes it takes".[1]
posted by aleph at 6:45 PM on March 25, 2020

Well, who hasn't shit their pants and pretended it didn't happen...?

posted by Windopaene at 6:46 PM on March 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

heterosexual life as always looks horrifying

there's also a queer woman dating a filmmaker whose specialty is autobiographies about a queer woman filmmaker who is undateable because she constantly acts terribly & refuses to work on her issues, if that helps
posted by taquito sunrise at 6:50 PM on March 25, 2020 [7 favorites]

To be fair, this is selection bias. If you're not miserable and wanting to vent, you probably aren't going to write a secret on this website.

I mean - unless you're writing it as a reaction to endless letters of "my life sucks I can't talk to my partner emotional labor is the worst, manbabies, ugh." no one is going to write an upbeat uplfting story of how it's rough but they're getting through it with a ton of communication and lessons from past therapy and love and support from friends.

So while this is negative and bleh and depression, it's a very self-selecting slice of the world, and please PLEASE everyone reading this, don't take this as the way things are supposed to be with your partner during this time.

Being miserable and hating each other isn't the way it's supposed to work, internet and sitcoms be damned.
posted by FritoKAL at 7:11 PM on March 25, 2020 [20 favorites]

I am devoted to self isolation, and I missed the naked guy walking down the street today, though I read about him in an emergency message from Next Door. My neighbor offered me grapes and oranges and wanted to say hello, so the closest we got was over the fence for the hand off, then we chatted, 8 feet apart. Later my throat felt scratchy maybe because the powdered ginger I used in a strudel today was extra hot. However I invented a hot salty water, with powdered turmeric, gargle, and I tried it out, not so bad, you can even swallow a little, if you bend over the sink to spit it out, you can even wash your glasses with it, if they happen to fall off at just the right moment. Quarantine finesse, dignity, grace, whatever. I am glad to be alive, having LA shut down has given us the bluest skies and the sweetest air, full of the scent of fruit trees in bloom. It is heavenly here with Simpson's clouds daily. Being alone isn't the worst thing in the world. But, having to be alone kind of bites. These relationships discussed seem to be out of various needs, and the fallout from once having needed, or having erred because of need, is all of life like this? Sometimes you get to meet people because they delighted you immediately or you felt akin, right. Sometimes it turns out right, sure, sure it does.
posted by Oyéah at 7:51 PM on March 25, 2020 [10 favorites]

I was reading these and feeling really depressed (well, except for "Divorce" because I can't stop laughing) - and also grateful that my SO and I seem to be coping with sharing a bedroom/home office quite well. We are fond of wilderness camping together, so maybe that helps. Our room is much bigger and taller than a tent.
posted by jb at 7:58 PM on March 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

I decided I would finally leave my husband and return to the US this year. Then the pandemic hit. We are in isolation together. And while we’re here we’re getting along so well, namely bcs I don’t love him anymore so nothing he does annoys me.

a triumph of the human spirit
my heart is warmed with a delight I thought I had forgotten how to feel
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:48 PM on March 25, 2020 [6 favorites]

Twisted Sister is hilariously awful.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:16 AM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Spouses Without Borders sounds like a super-awkward sitcom "bottle" episode.
posted by faceplantingcheetah at 3:23 AM on March 26, 2020

I was torn on whether to post this to be honest - part of me thought yeah, it is too depressing in these times when we all have enough going on.

But then... like Sciatrix, I took too a small, comforting joy. We're all struggling our very different struggles, whether it's trying to maintain childcare and not become a horrible parent, or worrying about whether you'll still have a job when this is over, or how you'll survive in the meantime, or whether you or your vulnerable relative will get sick, or how you keep working when you're so anxious you can barely function, or the sheer loneliness.

On my bleaker days, the "don't worry everyone we'll get through this! chin up!!" posts on social media make everything feel worse. I need to hear the real stories - that others are struggling too - in order to remind myself that we are all (bar the richest few) in this together, in one way or another, and it's ok not to feel fine.
posted by greenish at 3:41 AM on March 26, 2020 [7 favorites]

Reading through these, I am very thankful my divorce wrapped up and ex-Mrs. Fleebnork moved out before all of this hit.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:36 AM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

moved out before all of this hit reading the last two words made me think there is a new word in there. The word thishit. I expect this in Webster's by the next update.
posted by Oyéah at 2:55 PM on March 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

only in santa cruz

yeah this is basically what living here is like
posted by saveyoursanity at 12:18 PM on April 4, 2020

I relate pretty hard to mood right now (though I probably would have pre-quarantine as well).
posted by Spathe Cadet at 1:06 PM on April 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

only in santa cruz...yeah this is basically what living here is like

I mean, as long as you stand back the full six feet to let the crystal do its work.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:15 PM on April 4, 2020

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