Chiara: Smiling through the Lockdown

In this edition of The Corona Chronicles I had a conversation with my friend Chiara, she came to St Louis this year and fell right into place with my group of friends. Her vision of the quarantine seemed a lot brighter than many of the other people I had listened to, a bit more hopeful perhaps? Hearing her talk I was thinking about how lucky we are to live in the 21st century, where technology has permitted life to resume some semblance of normality…I cannot imagine the mechanism of a quarantine without my laptop and its strange, virtual but lifesaving, ability to keep you connected to absolutely anyone. 

About yourself: My name is Chiara, I just moved to St Louis.

Where are you at the moment? Are you satisfied with the resources around you?

I’m at home in Milan, I am fine with it. Obviously, I could be a lot better, like somewhere else, but I don’t mind it too much, I don’t care about being shut-in. I’m in an apartment with the rest of my family, so there’s four of us (my mum, dad and my brother), but we’re doing pretty well. We’ve divided the chores that need to be done around the house, so everyone has something they do to keep the house running…I sweep the floor! I do the most unfit-for-a-seventeen-year-old-girl job, I clean the bathrooms and floors, whereas my brother does the ironing! He doesn’t do that good of a job…

Some people on social media have said that being in quarantine has made all the days blur into one another, how would you describe your day? 

Hmm, I don’t think they blur into one another. Maybe right now though, during the vacation, they may feel that way a little more. But that happens to me generally always on vacation, I just forget what day it is. When school was still going, every day felt distinct. I mean, I woke up and I would go to class and make myself a coffee, and then just do the school day and some days I have stuff I have to do after school, like violin and what not. But generally, I have things I do pretty much every day that makes the quarantine alright.  

Many people have taken up new hobbies as a result of the quarantine, is this the same for you? 

Is sunbathing a hobby? My mum brought up a chair from the garage to put on the balcony, and I have nothing better to do so I’m just getting a tan. 

What about baking? (Chiara had been posting baking pictures on the group chat)

Not really, I mean, I have always been baking. I bake when I want to get something out, I wouldn’t say out of emotional distress but, I bake, so it’s mostly been that…my life has been pretty eventful! 

Has playing the violin helped you at all? 

I don’t practice! I think my teacher knows it but she’s okay with it, she’s kind of given up on making me sit down and practice. I draw usually too, I have to admit that I’ve been drawing less, but yeah I am just doing the hobbies I used to do now. 

What is the thing you miss the most from before the quarantine?

Seeing friends and going to school. I guess seeing you guys, and going out to lunch with you guys. Or, generally, just seeing people that I cannot be that much in contact with, now especially. I mean just seeing people face to face makes the difference.


Our group of friends specifically has tried to mitigate that through the use of applications such as Netflix party, could you talk me through that?

Netflix Party is a chrome extension that allows you to have a chat open while you are watching something on Netflix. It works pretty well! Obviously, being with your friends and watching a movie in person is different, but it helps to know that you’re watching something with someone else, it at least feels like you’re not watching a TV series alone!

We watched Tiger King, any thoughts? 

It’s insane!

Did Carole Baskins do it?

Carole did do it! I mean like come on! They should do a Buzzfeed Unsolved on it.  

What is the first thing you will do when you get to leave the house?

Hmm, going out with friends…