By Lavinia Lei and Ananya Dua

Exploring the future of a technologically-reliant world through a virtual pandemic propelled by a computer virus.


Jeslyn

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2122
I did not go outside today. I do not know what the weather was like.

The power went out two weeks ago. Or really, the government shut down all the power two weeks ago. My parents say I should find something else to distract myself with, like writing a journal instead of just moping around all day. So now I am writing this, but I think it’s dumb. This whole situation is dumb. Now my hand hurts.

TUesday, April 14, 2122
I think the sky is broken.

I thought that this whole thing would be over by now. It’s not. You would think that if there were people smart enough to make the virus that there would be people smart enough to stop it. I guess all the supremely smart people prefer being free little birds, and everyone else is just second-best. Shame.

The thing is, I don’t even know anything about COVID-22 other than the fact it exists. I can’t search anything up, so the only information I get nowadays is by word of mouth. But I also don’t talk to anyone, so I don’t know anything. All I know is that one day I was on my computer when a government-issued alert said there was a virus and that they would be shutting all the power down. Then the screen went dark. as did my world lmfao

People say that I should go outside more and all that, but I don’t wanna. It’s dark and hazy, and it smells bad. I’m told that staying inside all day is bad for my health, but I’m pretty sure breathing toxic fumes is even worse. I’ll just stay inside and continue to mourn the tragedy of having nothing to do anymore.

MONDAY, april 27, 2122
THE SKY IS STILL A VERY CONCERNING COLOR.

Since the internet has been shut down, school isn’t possible online anymore. We now have the dumbest contingency plan: meeting in person. As in traveling to on-site facilities that just barely exist. I have to go out to the middle of nowhere to pretend to pay attention to someone who tries to teach us useless lessons only to remember that they have no technology to teach with, thus resorting to giving us mountains of irrelevant paper assignments. The last time I’ve seen more than 2 sheets of paper within the vicinity of each other was like five years ago. And the text is so small too; I tried pinching and zooming in before remembering that normal paper doesn’t work that way. It made me irrationally angry to the point where I almost ripped the paper apart. I don’t like feeling angry. It’s quite unpleasant.

Lunch breaks are so awkward because I have no idea what to do. I’ve started buying books (paper books with big text, mind you) to bring to school these days because talking is hard, and it seems putting my head down to avert my gaze toward anything other than the scrutiny of another person is what I do best. Phones would be great for this purpose, but it just so happens that the lack thereof is why I’m in this situation to begin with.

Saturday, May 16, 2122
I don’t Care About the Weather anymore.

Recently, there’s just been some days where I kinda want to die. It seems that today was one of those days. I broke down and started crying for hours today for absolutely no reason at all. I hate this.

wednesday, june 3, 2122
IT IS SUMMER. IT SHOULD NOT BE THIS COLD.

I went to the library and spent an abnormally long time sitting in front of a desktop. It was blank obviously, but I could almost see the twisting shapes and flashing colors dance across the screen.

FRIDAY, 5 JUNE, 2122
IT ALMOST SEEMED LIKE IT WAS REALLY SUMMER FOR ONCE.

Today was the last day of school. I went to the library again, where someone tried to start a conversation with me. While I might be generally unresponsive to social situations, I wasn’t rude enough to completely ignore them (spoke less than ten sentences total, but still the most socializing I’ve done since March). They kept raving about the excitingness of the situation and how much their life had changed for the better while I smiled and nodded. I felt mildly annoyed, but then felt pathetic about feeling annoyed. It seems that people are doing fine, but I just can’t get over this. Everyone else can, so why can’t I?

I’m tired. Being awake is aggravating. I just wanna sleep everything away.


Tessa

Sunday, March 29, 2122

so… i’m journaling! The past two weeks have given me so much time that I almost don’t know how to spend it. i’ve tried doing the whole baking thing, the painting thing, and even tried gardening. honestly, nothing seems ‘fun’. i miss the tv. a lot. i’ve seen people writing down their thoughts — Celia is doing it so ig it doesn’t hurt to try, right? Plus, I think it’ll help with all the abbreviations i’ve been using; i have become so conditioned to write in text language

Saturday, April 18, 2122

Today was not a good day. it feels like my emotions fluctuate, u know? Like one day I’m ready to channel this shutdown to ‘reinvent’ myself and the next im just so down about everything.

today’s that day. I’ve just been crying, and i dont know why.Ugghhhh. 

Maybe its bcuz it’s literally so hard for me to find other things to do; my hands instinctively reach to power on the tv. Or maybe its cuz of the arguments?

Staying at home is causing me to engage in more arguments with my parents. they feel like i’m not being productive! but they don’t understand how hard the change has been — everyone’s struggling. At least i’m trying? There are ppl who literally sit in front of their desktops all day, waiting that it’ll magically turn on! today would just be sooo much better if I could just Facetime Celia and vent about my day. She always understands. But, well you know, i cant. And, i can’t even go to her. Have you seen the thickening black smog outside?

Monday, April 22, 2122

School is starting back up again! I could NOT be happier. I’ll finally see Celia, hangout in the alleyways, run around the yard and pet Mr. B’s dog. I’ll do everything I took for granted before. God, I couldn’t be happier!

And, things seem to be looking up. Journaling seems to be going fairly well, and I’ve also gotten back to experimenting in the kitchen. Today, I made the most delicious red-velvet cookies I’ve ever had. And, guess what? I made them from my grandmom’s written recipe, not Martha Stewart’s website lol. Mom was able to hunt down her old recipebook; the pages were frayed and the book was infested with termites but … the recipe worked!

I think I’m going to take some to school tomorrow. Sprinkle some much needed positivity into peoples’ days, you know? 

Wednesday, May 29, 2122

The weather’s honestly been so nice recently. It’s symbolic almost — the depressing haze is lifting, and I can see traces of the oncoming summer season. When I walk past the trees in the morning, I’m able to hear the distinct bird sounds… Did you know that there are more than 54 species of birds nearby my house? If this technological shutdown has done anything, it’s made me more aware of my surroundings, probably because I’m no longer sitting in front of my devices all day long, attending classes. Anyway, I’m not writing this entry to talk about the weather — I’ll save that for another time.

My school has been undergoing a remodel (I guess they were trying to capitalize on the shutdown), and today, I went to the new library. I’m not really much of a reader but I just wanted to go to experience the bustling energy — students collaborating over their homework, reading fictional tales, ranting about their upcoming test. Everyone had basically begun their ‘normal’ life by now. I could no longer see any kids staring at the desktops aimlessly, yearning for them to start and fill this void in their life. Or so I thought. 

As I was walking out, I saw this girl, frustratedly klacking the keyboard. She looked distraught — like she wanted all of this to be over. It felt right to go up and talk to her, so I did. We hardly talked — it was honestly just me talking about myself — but it got me thinking. The pandemic hasn’t been the same for everyone; some of us have struggled more than others to rid ourselves of a heightened reliance on technology. I’ve been able to find release to the anxiety  behind COVID-22; baking and walks with nature have helped me feel more fulfilled. Yet, I understand the pain people must have experienced to be pulled away from something they were so dependent on! 

Regardless, if for nothing, this pandemic has made us more connected; I had never seen my peers so collaborative and engaged with each other; really, you should’ve seen the library today!

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