coronadiary | 15 March

Not so long ago, my husband and I were complaining about there not being a single weekend in the near future we’d be able to spend at home. Somehow, there were dozens of parties, dozens of get-togethers to attend: parties organized by others, by us, for the kids, without the kids – there were so many of them, we said, that they all seemed as nothing more than compulsory parts of the choredom of contemporary life. And the hours we would spend at home during those weekends would, as always, see us dealing with the inevitabilities of whatever was postponed during the week: doing the laundry; cooking properly; feeding the kids properly, the pets, ourselves; cleaning; rubbing off a week of dirt; and at the tail end: getting ready for, to again, circumvent our home.

There would be no time for time, we said, the typical millennial lament, there never is. And now that we have it, now that our agendas have been cleared for the next five weeks, we’re not sure whether to be jubilant or sad. We send and receive messages about keeping the faith, about taking courage, as though we’ve been punished. Newspapers are publishing articles on how to survive five weeks at home with the kids and are probably prepping articles on how to survive five weeks at home with your spouse; about how to survive five weeks without mistresses and lovers too, I imagine, as The Guardian has already published one about the effect of corona on orgies. It makes me wonder what it’ll do to people, this being together so much more than we’re used to, and in essence, with the people we’ve chosen to be with, at some point. Will there be more fights, or more love, or both? There’s the internet and phones, of course, to escape outwards, to draw the world in, but is the world at a distance enough of an escape? Where do we escape to be alone, and if/when we’re alone, where do we escape from ourselves?

text and photo by Sofie De Smyter |photo taken in Motril, Spain

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