Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Stuck: Life under quarantine in Rio de Janeiro

Stuck inside with the “Morro Dois Irmãos” on the outside. Rio de Janeiro, 2020. May 1, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Stuck means to be trapped in something, and this is the sensation I aim to show through the photographs I have taken during my quarantine period in my hometown. 

The hard times we are living in are not only a challenge for our physical health, but also our mental health. According to “Our World in Data”, 792 million people had a mental health disorder in 2017- and this was not even in the middle of a pandemic. There are studies that show how concerned mental health organizations are with the possible developments or with the aggravation of symptoms or conditions in times of quarantine and lockdown. 

Although some friends of mine are still going out and meeting other friends, I need to be extra careful because I’m part of a risk group due to a precondition and autoimmune systemic disease called Lupus. To be stuck, in my case is not only an act of solidarity with my grandparents or my stepfather, it is a matter of survival. Because the outside has become something so abstract and far away, I chose the pictures to be black and white, while the inside, which is my reality, is colorful. 

I’ve been stuck since March 10. When I first arrived in Rio, I needed to be in complete isolation in my room for 14 days. When I finally went out of my room, I felt the relief of being capable of walking around the house or just being able to touch things that other people touch. However, I still feel stuck, and I believe everyone else does too. You feel stuck at home, stuck in the news  you are stuck inside your building, your car and, most of all, stuck wanting to get out, to just leave and breathe some fresh air (without masks, will that ever be possible again?) 

I feel stuck, but I want to feel free again. I want to look at a view and be there if I want to, I want to hug my grandparents again, I want my grandma to be able to go to the mall again, I want to go to a nice restaurant, have some wine and eat. I want to not fear life. 

Stuck in the news is also stuck. Andrea (50) reads the news in times of pandemic. April 29, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Room-stuck day 10. My mom, Andrea (50) had to bring me food so that I wouldn’t need to touch objects in common areas inside my house (or even breathe the same air). April 1, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

The new normal: masks hang to dry after walking the dog. Rio de Janeiro, 2020. April 23, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Pedro (13) has also been quarantined for a long time. For a young soccer player, to stay stuck at home is big sacrifice. April 8, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Stuck with the view of the other side of the building. April 29, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

From inside the building to the street in Rio de Janeiro. May 1, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Since the start of the pandemic Thereza (78) hasn’t been out to the mall with her caregivers for being part of the higher risk group. May 1, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Remote work is one of the biggest challenges during quarantine. It is too easy to just distract by all of the reasons you are stuck in the first place. April 8, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas separated by a few miles and a net. May 1, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

When stuck at home, Andrea (50) has to do something she hasn’t in a while: clean the house. April 8, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Julio (64) admires the beautiful landscape of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas through his bedroom window. April 1, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

Net blocks the view of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Rio de Janeiro. May 1, 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

The view from Christ the Redemeer from the Garage. Rio de Janeiro, 2020. May 1 2020. Photo by Marina Guimarães

This is a project of Lori Grinker’s NYU graduate photojournalism class.



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