The Quarantine Chronicles 9 😷 Julian Gallo

Detail from Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “The Triumph of Death”, 1562

A Daily Feature | سلسلة يومية

This is an extraordinary time, wrote Carol Sansour to, among many others, the American writer Julian Gallo, and I would like to document it by means of testimonies from you and others around the world.  I would appreciate it if you could answer those four questions in whichever form you see fit (preferably a short video):

What is the most pressing thought/idea you are having these days;

What are you hopeful for (personally and for the human race);

What scares you;

How are you spending your time (please indicate if you are on lockdown or not)?


The direction the world is heading. I’m particularly concerned with the right wing populist turn in America and across the world. You’re beginning to see the same things and hear the same rhetoric one heard in the 1920s and 1930s and it’s quite alarming. The rise in division: ethnic, religious, and so on. I fear we haven’t learned any lessons from history and as the saying goes, we are doomed to repeat them.


There are good people around and I think the more we focus on each other’s humanity and realize that we really aren’t so ‘different’ from one another, that we have the same hopes, fears, concerns, dreams, desires, that maybe — maybe — there’d be a little more empathy in the world. Right now there’s too much righteous anger but I think these are just the loudest voices in the room. There’s also a lot of good and it’s important we focus our attention on that and shut off all the noise. Personally, I just want to keep writing and hopefully connect with others with similar interests and ideas.


That my optimism is a wasted effort, that people will fall back to their most base selfish impulses and lose touch with their humanity, spread fear, hatred, and division. Also, the alarming number of people who deny science and refuse to accept reality, those who believe anything they’re told without ever questioning it, those who see literally every aspect of life through their ideological lens.


I’m currently not on lockdown but a voluntary ‘social distancing’. Things are changing in New York literally by the hour and as I write this, the city itself is beginning to lock down, so it may all be irrelevant anyway. It hasn’t affected my daily routine much at all, though, being that I spend most of my time home writing anyway. This latest challenge to humanity is going to be a real test for the world. I’m hopeful we’ll all come through it okay, but sometimes the pure idiocy and selfishness of others — usually politically motivated — concerns me. I want to believe that this stupidity are just the loudest voices in the room and that most people are responsible and understand that this is a minor disruption and things will return to ‘normal’ soon enough.