• Voices of Quarantine

What is the "Voices of Quarantine" Project? Who is it run by? What is its purpose? If I have a story, where do I go to submit it? If I want to submit a story, how will I know I will remain anonymous? Have any of these questions crossed your mind since the beginning of this project? If so, then this article is for you. In this article, I'm going to try and answer all of your questions and concerns from the basics of the "Voices" project to submitting a piece yourself and everything in between. If you have a question and can't find the answer in this article feel free to reach out to thevoicesofquarantine@gmail.com and I'll be sure to answer it as soon as I can.


But until then, let's start with the basics.

GENERAL


What is the "Voices of Quarantine" Project? A non-discriminatory website for everyone to post their first-hand experiences, resources, art, thoughts, or anything else relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.


What inspired the "Voices" project? The Voices of Quarantine (or "Voices" for short) project was a project conceptualized during the extreme isolation/quarantine of the COVID-19 outbreak. While cooped up in isolation, like most people, I wanted to help and give back but I have never really been scientifically or medically inclined to volunteer my time and I don't have a sewing machine. So, I thought, the next best thing was to create.


I struggle heavily with loneliness/depression myself and wanted to find a way to connect to others but also being there for them if I could. By combining my passion for helping others and my ability to create I thought up this project in hopes of allowing people to connect through shared situations. Giving others a singular platform to be able to share their experiences, positive or negative, that have come from the COVID-19 pandemic. While adding the 'bit' about anonymous posting I thought more people would be inclined to share more real and raw stories, as long as they weren't personally attached to it - which has had amazing feedback so far.


Who runs the "Voices" Project?

Just me! One man, stuck in his apartment, hoping to make the world a better place one small step at a time.


What do you hope comes out of the "Voices" Project? Honestly, just a place where people can go to decompress, vent, or share/form a community over a shared experience during these very lonely, isolating times. I don't really expect much else from it. What can I expect from the "Voices" Project? Real-life stories from real individuals. No bullshit.


How long will this project go on? This project is forever archived on the internet but will only survive and stay active as long as we have submissions coming in. Once the submissions die down, so does this project. However, I would love for people to continue to share and update us as the world gets better after this is all over - that's the dream.

SUBMISSIONS

How do you get submissions?

As of right now, it's mainly through friends/colleagues via social media, email, or a quick phone call/text asking them if they'd like to contribute. But it's a slow burn, I'm hoping to check the inbox one day and it is FLOODED with submission from people I've never met.


How often does the "Voices" Project post new submissions?

Depending on the volume of submissions, every-day at 9am & 2/4pm. At this time I do not post on the weekends cause I'm only one man but that's subject to change.


How will I know when a new post goes up?

If you know me personally or follow me on social media - I'll make a post around the designated times listed above (9am & 4pm) or you can 'Subscribe' and be sent an email every time a new post goes up.

How do I submit? > Click Here

> Click "Submit Your Voice" on the homepage of the "Voices" website

> Send an email to thevoicesofquarantine@gmail.com

> "Submit" tab at the bottom of every page


But wait, what can I submit? Anything your heart desires! That's the beauty of it, we're all dealing with this in different ways so there's no limit as to what can be submitted. Unless, of course, it's hateful in any way. Did you pick up a cool new hobby with all this downtime and want to show the world? Tell us about it! Did you write, record, mix, and master a song in your bedroom? Let us hear it! Are you making masks out of discarded clothes? Do a mask-fashion show - we want to see them! Did you discover the next ground-breaking recipe? We'd love to try it out! Are you reliving some nostalgia by building pillow forts and watching old movies? We'd love to join - virtually! Anything!

Can my submission have media in it? (i.e. music, original photography, gifs, videos, etc.)

Yes, most definitely. I highly encourage you to include media within your submissions! Just attach it to the bottom of the email submission and how you would like it to be integrated within your post.


What if I don't have a story/hobby/media to submit?

No worries! You don't have to submit anything to enjoy the site. However, if you have a resource that you know of that could help someone in need you can submit that as well! (See Resources). For example, Local Food Bank Database, Unemployment Info, Mental Health Resources, Finacial Help, etc. are all amazing resources to submit!

Okay, so I have something I'd like to submit but I don't know if it's any good. Don't worry - I'm sure it's beautiful whatever it is! Don't let your doubts, insecurities, or perfectionist mindset stop you from submitting a piece. We are our own worst critiques. We won't truly know the impact of our piece until we've released it to the world.

What if my submission isn't 'happy'? That's completely fine (and encouraged)! Not everything has to be happy. In uncertain times like these sometimes people just want someone or something to relate to. Sometimes those relatable things are tough to talk or read about but it could be healing for someone else to know that they aren't alone. Some of the most widely accepted pieces in the project so far are incredibly emotional.

See "Recording Isolation:" & "Mourning In Isolation"


What if I want to be anonymous?

That is totally your choice! Either mention it in the email submission or don't sign your name when you submit the piece. The only person who has access to the submissions is me (the creator) and I promise to keep everything we have confidential.


What if I want to be credited for my submission?

That's also up to you! Upon submission, please, make note of how you would like to be credited and one (1) to two (2) social media links. (Instagram and/or personal website are preferred.)


With this project, we want to give as much credit as we can when credit is desired but we also don't want to link/project spam submissions to promote other brands. We're focused on the voices that this project has to offer and the many artistic voices it will bring to the table. What happens after I submit a piece? Depending on the volume of submissions, I'll personally review the submission and have it up within a day or two after it was originally sent.


How will I know when it's up? After I receive your submission, review it, and schedule it to go live, I will send you a follow-up email letting you know the time and date that it will be up on the website.


You can also 'Subscribe' to the "Voices" project and receive an update whenever a new post goes live, straight to your email. *Subscribe is at the bottom of the page*


How will I know you won't change anything in my submission?

You have my word.

The only times I've edited a submission are because of slight grammar/formatting issues and if I have to do that, I will generally let the submitter know ahead of time.

RESOURCES


I heard you have resources for those who might need some help?

Well, ya heard right! Feel free to check out the Resources tab at the bottom of the website. Now, I don't claim to be the go-to for resources but it wouldn't sit right with me if this project didn't have resources for those who need help.


What kind of resources do you offer?

Unemployment Info, Mental Health, and Artist Resources but am always expanding as I see a need for them.


Can I submit a resource?

You sure can! Click Here to submit a resource!


What kind of resources will you take?

All of them! You never know who needs help during this time. We all have our own struggles and your resource might be their saving grace.


Do you take donations? At this time, I do not. If there is more interest in donations I'll research a COVID research charity and set up a link for it on the resources tab!

SOCIAL/OTHER

How do I find out more info on the "Voices" Project?

Head over to the 'About' tab or send us an email with your questions! Does "Voices" have other social media? It's in the works and should be live, in due time. One man can only do so much!

I LOVED this submission but I can't comment, why not?

I did this as another part of the project/experiment. I disabled comments to encourage you to share the articles/submissions cross-platforms and reach your audience with your thoughts on the piece.


However, if you're so moved by a piece and would like to submit a response about a certain piece, feel free to email thevoicesofquarantine@gmail.com with your response (and the title of the submission) and I'll go about it as if it were its own submission. If you would like the original poster to see your comment, I will happily forward your comments to them via the "Voices" email. We've also already done this once! (See: "Re: Mourning In Isolation...") Can I share posts on social media?

Please do!

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are already "pre-made" with shareable links but also the whole post link are available to copy and paste wherever. If you need to shorten a link, I'd recommend Bitly (super easy to use and the links look clean!).

How do I know you're not mining my data?

I personally wouldn't know how to do that in the first place. But the only "data" I'm receiving from you is your name from your email and that stays on the voices email account.

I think that just about covers basically any question I could think of on the spot while writing this out but please if you have a question that you don't see listed here that might be more detailed, shoot us an email at thevoicesofquarantine@gmail.com. (I know - It's already been posted a bunch already.) If any general questions come my way that might benefit more people down the line, I'll update this post accordingly. Have a wonderful rest of your week! Stay safe!


- DJ (Creator of "Voices of Quarantine")

  • Voices of Quarantine

For months prior to the pandemic, I was constantly on the move, going from one place to the next in order to keep my dreams alive. But as the quarantine began, I realized that I sacrificed my well-being, my sanity, and my creative fire. So, I decided to take this opportunity to start a creative recovery that involved soul-searching and self-evaluation.


In the process, I realized that I need to spend more time taking care of myself. Once I do, I’ll be able to utilize my purpose: using my gifts as an MC to connect with other people. During this time, I feel a strong urge to contribute in a positive way, as opposed to feeding into the constant stream of negativity in the media. I hope that I uplift people, and inspire them to do the same.


- Sam (@samthesentientrapper)



[Transcription] [hip hop instrumental in background]

[Speaking] I'm back.

A brand new me.

And right now, I'm about to give ya'll some remedies. Yeah, let's go--

[Rapping]

Shut us down, but we open up doors,

How many times you tried to spend time you couldn't afford. But since we homebound, we own it at our own accord

Come check the heart on my sleeves that I got in store

Gettin' better sleep,

Refreshing my memories,

Energy for good tendencies,

Exercising my body and analyzing the food I eat.

Meditate for a better state

Till I desecrate separation between binding hearts to generate endless peace

Sleep the rumination of my sleeping place

To clear my vision.

See the rude awakening of my truest fate,

Now here's the mission:

Give back, encouraging other kids with Aspbergers

They can transcend past the hurt by flexin' their gifts

Cause I'm here and I've lived it

Proving what God is doing with healers building a movement,

Spilling with Wanya bout dealing spirit, now that's therapeutic

Now here's the mantra that you can ponder and jostle through it,

"How can you prosper through punching clocks and not abuse it?"

  • Voices of Quarantine

Isolation, freedom, anxiety, possibility, and fear


Familiar. That is a theme that keeps coming back to me. FAMILIAR. I had a stroke seven years ago. A massive, debilitating, traumatic stroke that spawned a new existence and perspective for me and for those around me. When someone's earth is altered in such a dramatic and extreme force, the space that you inhabit changes everything and everyone around you. So, it should not surprise anyone that I often see the world as I know it now through the lens of my stroke.


When I got home from the hospital, I was basically immobile. So, I had a lot of time in my apartment and I was relating to the world through my computer much like my current state. So, now that I have been in this pandemic a while sitting in the middle of New York City, familiar is what I feel every day as I get up, shower, make coffee, go to my computer eat, write, blow off Netflix steam and go to bed.


As I sit on my computer day to day the familiar feeling begins to take shape and forms into a collective whole. Its collectively becoming a movement. A revolution. I can't help reflecting on a revolution that has been brewing in all of us for many years now. Mine manifested in a stroke and how I began to see my life as it was in the present, but now the world is feeling it and seeing it and experiencing it. We have to ask ourselves; why are we here? How did we get here? And where will we go?


And with this new and old revolution, I think a new world has to be revealed and an old world must be mourned and rebirthed. Things may be different, but we have to ask ourselves if we were on the right path? When we come out of this anew, what do we want to be different?

Like my stroke, we are being forced to look and be in a world that is completely changed forever. We can never go back. We must face the issues of the past head-on and not push them aside; inequality in a world of haves and have not, inequality of race under hundreds of years of oppression, an imbalanced economy, a fast-paced existence that doesn’t allow for time to breathe and reflection, the healing of our planet from ruin. We have destroyed our lives for progress but not for real self-worth. We have been the true virus all along and change is the only antidote.


I am not stating that I have the answer or that my stroke was connected to all of this but what if it was on a small part of something greater than ourselves. A change that was suddenly thrust upon us whether we wanted it or not much like my stroke. And maybe collectively, we can begin again together taking more responsibility for ourselves and each other and that would be the real reason for a pandemic. Change is what we need. Change is the antidote.