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PHOTO ESSAY: MY QUARANTINE

    As a college graduate in 2020, my quarantine experience with the spread of COVID-19 involved a harsh realization of my lasts. The adjustment to life back in my childhood home was hard. Time became irrelevant and my previous life drifted away. The goodbyes the Class of 2020 had planned for; graduation, the final farewells to classmates in May, all had slipped away. This was a time I had waited for all of my life, the time where I found my career after college. With a weakened immune system and various health issues, I needed to stay within my home. I felt my mental health deteriorating and the walls in my house were constantly closing in, contributing to my claustrophobia. To exemplify these feelings of entrapment, I utilized direct light to bring attention to my interpretation of everyday life. I realized that previously simple actions and feelings became incredibly substantial. I included frames highlighting my sister’s involvement with church Zoom services, my father’s work around the house with company furloughs, and my mother’s job at the medical center in my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa.

 

The contrast and combination of black and white images does not only encase each feeling and story, but references the historical, colorless nature of the time our generation is living in. 

Payton Zentz prays during a Zoom service for for Anchor Community Church on Sunday, May 31, 2020. The pastor called for the participants in the service to pray before the breaking of the bread. My sister prayed for the healing of the country. The services provided a spiritual connection for her in a time when in-person church services are not permitted. 
Payton Zentz tries on her graduation cap while brushing her hair. She is in the high school graduating class of 2020 and experienced a canceled in-person graduation. She recently picked up her cap and gown a pick-up at her high school. My sister and I share similar feelings regarding our high school and college graduation cancellations, and have become closer through quarantine with all that has happened.
Warren Zentz unloads groceries on his day off. Due to COVID-19, my father has taken more of a role with buying groceries for the household. Other family members, such as myself, refrain from going to the store due to fears of getting the virus. The groceries consisted of frozen pizza, deli meat, blueberries, and toilet paper. This is the first time in four years all of members of the household have lived together. 
I rest my feet against the windowsill while relaxing on the couch. This specific place is a spot to look out at the outside world. I see people walking around through the alley either on a regular stroll, returning home from the bars, or getting into their cars to get away.
Barbara Zentz, the photographer's mother, returns home from a day of work at the medical center in Dubuque Iowa. 
Payton Zentz, the photographer's sister, runs up the stairs to her room in her home in Dubuque, Iowa. She wears slippers around the house, with symbols of the American flag on them. Payton spends most of her time upstairs to avoid spending too much time around other members of the family. 
On Saturday, Warren Zentz, the photographer's father, tends to yard work in the front of the household. My father, a journalist, normally works on Saturdays. This was the first Saturday in years he was not working, and it was due to quarantine. 
Katina Zentz, the photographer, poses for a self-portrait while sorting through clothing in the sunroom within her home in Dubuque, Iowa. This room used to be the room with the most light and space. Within the last couple of years, the room has become a storage unit within the home for all of my previous things. With my return home and leaving my college town, many of my clothes, plants, and apartment materials have had to find their place in the sunroom. This was once a room that I spent the most time in. It has now become the room that contributes the most to my claustrophobia. 
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