Life at Home



Life at Home


My process of creating my piece for the archive was very disorganized and ambitious. I had many different ideas of what I could do, especially after looking at all the other submissions to the archive. Originally, I had planned to draw and possibly paint a picture that represented my experience during the pandemic. This was inspired by the artwork that we had examined in class, specifically the very first piece. When I signed up for this class, although I knew it was interdisciplinary, I expected a more sociological and philosophy-based class. The first day, when we analyzed an art piece, I was pleasantly surprised. I love art and history and was so excited that this class incorporated these disciplines in. Although I am no artist, I was determined to learn how to create a piece of art that would fully encompass my Covid-19 experience.
A conversation with my grandmother about school and what I was doing in my classes inspired me to create a different, less obvious piece of art. Upon telling my grandma about how we are learning about the 1918 flu, she sent me a famous picture of an unknown family from Dublin, California. The family is posed in the picture as many families would to take a family portrait. However, given there was a pandemic at the time, everyone in the family had masks on, even including their cat. As a cat lover, I loved this photo and pictured my own cat taking a picture with us wearing a mask and everything. This picture made me realize how important my own cat was to my mental health during the pandemic. I have been diagnosed with an Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder all at different times in my life, but these illnesses all share one characteristic: they worsened immensely with the pandemic. I was a freshman in college in 2020 when we first got sent home for the pandemic. I was forced to move out of my dorm that I shared with one of my best friends, who I never would have the chance to live with again and forced to move all the way across the state back to my hometown and back into my parents’ house. I am not trying to sound ungrateful for my parents, but it was hard having my freedom taken away from me in all aspects of my life, especially as an 18-year-old. My mental illnesses progressed until I reached a point where I would work all day, come home, and get right in to bed, sleep until dinner, and sleep after dinner until the next morning. At the time of the pandemic, there were so many things going on socially in America. The Black Lives Matter Movement, the Biden election and administration, Covid-19 conspiracies and controversies, and just increased political tension in all forms of our lives. Coming from a very conservative city and moving to a liberal college town I’ve come to develop very different political opinions than my parents. Without going into detail, it seemed like everything going on in the world at the time added an extra weight onto the already crushing mental illnesses that I was struggling with.
The one thing that helped me during this time, was the cat that my family adopted during the pandemic. He stayed by my side and cuddled with me in bed as I slept those unreasonable hours. He was the emotional support that I needed to finally feel less alone. So basically, my inspiration for my new entry was seeing this family and their cat during the 1918 influenza pandemic, and how that reminded me of my cat and I during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. I think that this image conveys an incredible amount of information about the time of our pandemic. Not only does it allude to certain historical events and movements, but there is a much deeper story rooted in mental illness, loneliness, societal and familial tension, and the bond between us and our pets. I remember when I was an IB-history student in high school and evaluating historical pictures for deeper meaning within them. If future researchers and students can look at my picture and pull out even some of my intentional meaning, I will have considered my entry more than successful.
Since I am in Eau Claire right now, four hours from home, I had to make do with what I had. Therefore, the cat featured in my picture is not my actual cat, it is my friend’s cat but the symbolism in it still stands. For my picture, I chose two flags that I felt were very controversial and important during my time quarantining, the Black Lives Matter flag, and the Biden presidential campaign flag. In the photo, I am resting on these flags, with my head on a pillow covered by another representative flag, not of the time, but of a part of myself that I kept hidden living in my hometown. This is supposed to represent not only what was going on at the time as a community (my bed) but also, what was going on within me personally. Instead of making the bed you sleep in, the bed made itself, and somehow, I became a prisoner not only to Covid, but to a disgruntled society, my childhood bedroom, and the mental illness holding me down. But through all of that, at least I had my cat to remind me that I would be okay.

Link to the picture I reference:




February 19th, 2022


Eau Claire WI 54703


Chloe Meyer


Chloe Meyer


Home and family



This item was submitted on February 24, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Contribute an object” on the site “Western Wisconsin COVID-19 Archive Project”:

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