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Martin Carpio

I have always dreamt of when classes would be out for the day. I’m beginning to regret dreaming for it.”

Simulated Suffocation

I’m suffocating. The lockdown caught me by surprise; when I first heard about it I felt like I was living in a dream fabricated by Yorgos Lanthimos. Everything was still here—just now slightly tilted left. My personal unease left me grasping for distractions, hoping everything will calm down in two weeks. I have always dreamt of when classes would be out for the day. I’m beginning to regret dreaming for it. The atmospheric properties of a routine dictated by school fail to block out the unforgiving vacuum of space that is this pandemic.

I recognize some of the silver linings that come with this quarantine. I can indulge in long-forgotten hobbies of mine. I’ve learned three new songs on my guitar, and I have crocheted a heart for my girlfriend. I’ve also been working out (though sporadically) in the mornings. I previously thought I would never have time to do these things because of track practice taking my Wednesdays and theatre rehearsals taking every other weekday. Now, I can finally enjoy some time dedicated to myself. I can allow myself to forget.

“California shutdown to continue,” exclaims the Los Angeles Times. “CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating,” asserts the Washington Post. In moments like these, I can’t forget. News coverage on the correct way to wipe down your groceries or the necessity of masks reminds me that I can no longer enjoy being outside like I used to. Overbearing and scared parents have kept me housebound since the quarantine announcement. I can’t work up the courage to ask to go for a run, because it’s clear the answer is “no.” Mr. Crocker gave me singing tips for months for our school musical. I was even one of the leading dance directors. He can no longer tell me to “lift my soft palate” for my solo in the school musical now that the world has come to a halt. I loved singing and dancing together. It was an outlet for me, an opportunity to let out the excess energy in the form of performance. There are so many things I’d like to do that I have to put on hold for now. Everything that I am doing just feels like a distraction from the infamous coronavirus.

Today marks the forty-eighth day of quarantine. My room is getting smaller. Soon, my emotions will catch up to me. My pent-up frustration, my anxiety, my bleakness, all of it will be running free in T-minus ten, nine, eight, seven… 

The lockdown caught me by surprise; when I first heard about it I felt like I was living in a dream fabricated by Yorgos Lanthimos. Everything was still here—just now slightly tilted left. I have always dreamt of when classes would be out for the day. I’m beginning to regret dreaming for it. I’m suffocating. The atmospheric properties of a routine dictated by school fail to block out the unforgiving vacuum of space that is this pandemic.

I recognize some of the silver linings that come with this quarantine. I can indulge in long-forgotten hobbies of mine. I’ve learned three new songs on my guitar, and I have crocheted a heart for my girlfriend. I’ve also started working out in the evenings. I previously thought I would never have time to do these things because of track practice and rehearsals for the school musical, but now I can finally enjoy some time dedicated to myself. I can allow myself to forget.

“California shutdown to continue,” exclaims the Los Angeles Times. “CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating,” asserts the Washington Post. In moments like these, I can’t forget. News coverage on the correct way to wipe down your groceries or the necessity of masks reminds me that I can no longer enjoy being outside like I used to. I can’t go for a run. I can’t sing in the school musical. I can’t go on a spontaneous trip around LA. There are so many things I’d like to do that I have to put on hold for now. Everything that I can do now just feels like a distraction from the infamous coronavirus.

Today marks the forty-eighth day of quarantine. The atmosphere is collapsing, and I’m being sucked in by the seemingly inescapable void.

(April 22, 2020)

Martin’s Quarantine Story

Breathing (July 2020)

“My first experience outside made me feel like I could breathe again.”

Martin’s Community Member Interview: Catherine Carpio

 “I had to make sure the family was together, and the only way to do that was to come here.”

Martin’s Interview

“[The COVID-19 pandemic has] definitely changed me. Personally, I wasn’t always an activist. Now, I’m more aware of what’s going on. It makes me feel less afraid to speak out against what’s going wrong in this country.”

Martin’s Menlo Interview: Andrew Costa

“The majority of the time I try and make the best out of a bad situation. I squeeze lemons to make lemonade.”

Martin’s Day in Quarantine