Our worlds have shrunken. We go fewer places, see fewer people, make fewer plans. As such, life looks different, literally. We wanted to see how women’s days around the globe are taking shape during the pandemic. We asked them to send photos that reflect their daily rhythms — an image of a meal, for example, or the view outside their window. A shot of something that keeps them calm or a random photo of anything they’d like.
Below, you’ll find snapshots from Massachusetts to Buenos Aires, from Taipei to an island off the coast of Scotland. You’ll peer inside the homes and habits of four women, and perhaps see reflections of your own small joys and anchoring routines.
The women’s words have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
The first two weeks of social distancing, I cried every day; now I cry every other day.
I am a singer-songwriter, producer and witch. I like to tell stories through music, and create community with spirituality and nature. My husband and I are both unemployed/underemployed in Boston. I’m trying not to freak out about paying the bills, and instead focus on what I can offer the world: music and tarot readings.
I visited my mom on Cape Cod for Mother’s Day. We didn’t hug, but she gave me tea and Bajan coconut bread, which is another form of love.
I’ve been reading tarot every day for myself and for other people. The cards are always honest. (These are from the Wild Unknown deck by Kim Krans.)
We live in a garden-level apartment. There’s not much light, but my plants help me feel connected to nature.
This is where I’ve been working on demos and new music. I use tarot cards to represent different songs and projects.
My favorite ice cream spot, by my parent’s house on Cape Cod, opened back up. I’m worried if we don’t support restaurants, they won’t survive this.
Fotolog was the last time I really enjoyed taking selfies.
I’m a graphic designer who graduated from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. I’ve always had a strong connection with art, in any form. I’ve felt anxious, scared, sad and numb during this pandemic. I soon realized that being active, at my own pace, helped me cope with the situation. That being present, listening to my own needs and desires — taking a bath, doing laundry, making a cake or just staying a little longer in bed — helped me to do more and worry less.
I was about to move out when it all started.
So cute I could die.
I read. I write. I design. I make paper cuttings. I draw. I make lists.
Ñoquis con tuco [gnocchi with tomato sauce] by my dad.
Totoro, Charly García and books.
I snack a lot. Food does bring me joy in the pandemic. I somehow feel guilty to say this out loud, but it’s true. I finally understand the magic of alcohol, and how much I love my sister.
I’m a 20-year-old journalism major college student. I live in Taipei, Taiwan, where we’ve had no new local cases for 30 days straight. We don’t have to quarantine, so I am lucky to be able to have a “normal” life, but I do wear a mask everywhere I go. I often worry about my friends who are not in Taiwan, but I try to smile and appreciate what I have. I found writing a gratitude journal helps me a lot.
On Mother’s Day, we went to Din Tai Fung for dinner. It is one of our favorite restaurants here in Taiwan that’s full of memories. Before a dear friend went back to the United States in March, we ate at Din Tai Fung, too. We played a chopstick challenge by seeing how much fried rice we could scoop up. It’s been awhile since my friend left, and I miss her.
I commute to the college campus in another city an hour every day. The passengers are asked to put on the masks in the MRT [Taipei’s Mass Rapid Transit]. After winter break, the government postponed the start of school for almost a month, and I rarely took public transportation then. I still remember the very first time I put on my mask and took the MRT to school. I was worried. I was scared of the air I breathed in.
I live in downtown Taipei. From the window, I can glance a little bit of Taipei 101, which was once the tallest building in the world. On New Year’s Day, my family walked up to our building’s rooftop to see the fireworks. At that time, none of us knew 2020 would be like this.
My friends in Fu Jen Catholic University’s journalism major class of 2021. I am lucky to have them in my college years. I hope we all remember how struggling, panicked but bold we are now. I can’t wait to look at their beautiful faces without masks when this is all over.
Me in my happy place: my polycrub, which is a rigid version of a polytunnel. The Outer Hebrides [a chain of islands off the coast of Scotland] has a fairly mild climate, but it is very windy. The growing season is very short, too, so having an undercover growing space is essential if you want decent crops. I grow vegetables and herbs in here and bring on flowers for the garden. I love pottering around out here — sowing, planting, watering. Growing food is important to me; just coming out and picking a few bits and pieces for dinner is such a great feeling. In this time of quarantine, I appreciate it even more.
I am 59 years old and live on the Isle of Lewis, off the northwest coast of Scotland, with my 13-year-old son. Since my husband died five years ago, I have been converting our croft [farm] from grazing livestock to native woodland. Living under “lockdown” hasn’t been very different for me. I’m still doing everything I normally do — cooking, reading, gardening and crafting — and we’re lucky to have a few acres of outdoor space to enjoy. My older children and grandchildren live on the mainland, so I’m used to online connection with them. Shopping has been more difficult and my son is having to home-school. That’s been harder work than I imagined it would be. We’ve been very shielded on the island — there have only been six mild cases. I’m a bit anxious about what might happen once the quarantine is over.
This is my favorite view from the only north-facing window in the house. It looks out across the fields and toward the next village. I never tire of it — endless cloudscapes and tides, Atlantic weather fronts sweeping in or mirrored reflections. The view is always different.
Quiche Lorraine and salad for lunch. I’ve always loved cooking. Even though it’s only my son and me now, I still cook as much from scratch as I can. Since the lockdown, I’ve been much more mindful about meal planning — using what I have and being conscious of waste.
I enjoy knitting and crochet. I’ve been working on a baby blanket for my new grandson who is due in August. This ripple pattern is very relaxing. It has such a soothing meditative rhythm to it. I love the colors and it’s so satisfying watching the blanket grow.
A glimpse into another world as my son plays his computer game. He was pleased at the thought of an extended holiday at first, but less so when the reality of lockdown dawned on him. He’s in his first year of high school and had settled in well and made new friends. He misses them, misses his teachers and the routine of the day. The schools have been very creative in keeping their learning going and luckily he’s at an early enough stage that his education won’t suffer too much. I’m enjoying having him around more. We’ve been having longer, deeper conversations than we did before, and I feel I’m getting to know and understand him better. I think it’s been an important time for us.
Reading “War and Peace.” I know it’s become a bit of a covid-19 cliche, but I thought, “Now’s as good a time as any.” It’s a great story. I’m really captivated by it — even the battle scenes! There’s definitely a reason why this book has stood the test of time.