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Monday, Feb 26, 2024

Arthur Martins '22.5 in Brasilia, Brazil

<span class="photocreditinline">COURTESY PHOTO</span><br />I've been spending a lot of quality time with Thomas, one of my four cats!
I've been spending a lot of quality time with Thomas, one of my four cats!

Arthur Martins (2022.5)

Brasilia, Brazil

How have you been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak? 

Solitude has many faces — this is the main lesson I have learned from this quarantine. At first, solitude was staring at my phone in front of McCullough in disbelief that the life I had built this year would vanish. I only had enough strength to cancel a meeting and sink into a sea of unknown: would I be kicked out from campus, would I have time to say goodbyes, when would I even be back? Solitude from not knowing. On the eve of returning to Brazil, solitude was the fear of being stranded as major airlines — including mine — cancelled all flights home, and then it was flying empty planes away from where I felt the happiest. Solitude from leaving. Now, at home for nearly two months, I still find a different solitude each day. It is overhearing my mom complain I spend more time speaking English in my room than interacting with the family — a mixture of shame and “but that’s where my life is.” It is never having talked so much with my friends and still be made victim to the solitude of missing them dearly. Sometimes solitude is fright, anxiety, remembering I am not insured outside Midd; sometimes solitude is peace, self-love, remembering the moments and people that make this solitude worth it. The outbreak has shown me many faces of solitude — and the more I see, the less lonely I feel.

What has been your greatest worry or day-to-day concern as coronavirus has spread?

I’ve worried a lot about my peers whose current conditions are challenging and burdensome. Lately, I worry about Brazil and what I’ll do if the US shuts down its borders for us due to our worsening outbreak.

What has made you happy over the past few weeks?

I had the pleasure of seeing the Midd community stand up for each other and fight for fairer grading — it amazes me how we continue to create and strengthen bonds despite our distance. It’s been humbling and brought me a warm sense of belonging to see it all unfold. Also, making homemade Brazilian brigadeiro fudge and my cats.

Where do you feel local?

Brasília, Brazil; Freiburg, Germany; Middlebury, VT