Coronavirus lockdown: living with my parents according to the new house rules

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The Hordinskis have dinner

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Madeleine Hordinski

What is life like in a closed environment for a student who has returned to live with her family?

Hello, my name is Madeleine Hordinski, I am 22 years old and I live at home with my parents and my 17 year old sister in Cincinnati, Ohio.

March 20: I went on a social walk with my boyfriend, Krishna Nelson, in my neighborhood, Walnut Hills. We didn’t go more than six feet for the one kilometer long walk.

Maddie Krishna Nelson's boyfriend

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Madeleine Hordinski

The distance between me and my friends and me and my boyfriend right now has certainly been really difficult. My boyfriend and I have actually had a long distance relationship for almost four years now, we go to school three hours apart.

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Watch Maddie’s video diary

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Media captionThe new rules for my locked house

We asked three young Americans to share their very different experiences of the pandemic.

We will also hear from Miguel, 21, who lives in San Francisco, and Ana, an 18-year-old high school student from the Bronx in New York.

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And now that I’m at home in Cincinnati where he goes to school, we are sort of in that strange short distance relationship where we see each other more often, but it’s outside and from a distance. And so I think it’s been really hard not knowing when we’re going to be able to spend time together again.

Maddie does the laundry

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Madeleine Hordinski

March 29: We have new rules in our house due to quarantine. As soon as I get home from work, I wash my clothes and take a shower and disinfect my hands profusely, always.

I was a freelance writer for PBS, and I’m covering a story that examines how low-income families are affected by coronavirus. I went to a homeless shelter and interacted with families – I did everything I could to be as safe as possible

I’m also still at school at the University of Ohio to take online courses.

The reflection of Maddie Sabina's sister in the rear view mirror

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Madeleine Hordinski

March 30: My sister and I drove to Mount Adams today, as it was in the 60’s (around 15 ° C) – it’s a Cincinnati neighborhood with one of the best views in the city center, so we sit with the windows down to enjoy the view.

With regard to the Cincinnati coronavirus, a lot has also happened recently. Even today, a bunch of employees have tested positive for coronavirus at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which I guess is not shocking, but it remains really scary.

So it’s getting closer and closer to home. We have more and more cases here every day, of course, and more people are dying as well. So I stayed at home, spending a lot of time with my sister.

Maddie's sister Sabina runs on an empty track with her friend

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Madeleine Hordinski

April 8: Sabina and her friend Avery, who is also an elderly person, return to their high school, Walnut Hills, to do social distancing training around the track.

My sister finds it hard to miss the milestones of her last year of high school and try to stay motivated with all the classes moved online. “Sometimes it’s hard not to feel so isolated,” she says.

I feel much more comfortable this week being quarantined. Not as overwhelmed and exhausted as I have felt in the past. But it is obviously very scary to see how many people move around the United States, as it is very different from state to state and city to city.

Maddie's family watching a movie outside with their neighbors

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Madeleine Hordinski

April 11: We ate pizza and salad for dinner before spending a movie night. My sister and father installed the projector screen before our movie night with our neighbors.

We have watched Monsters, Inc. since we have four young neighbors.

Maddie's father Ric in his recording studio

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Madeleine Hordinski

April 13: My father is a professional musician, he writes and plays the guitar for people and sometimes teaches at the University of Cincinnati. Right now, obviously, everything that is online. He also has a recording studio across from our house where he works, and he still writes music.

Karen, Maddie's mom

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Madeleine Hordinski

April 14: My mom is an outreach coordinator at a local high school in Cincinnati and her job is to coordinate volunteer opportunities with her students.

She works on mask sewing using old curtains, clothes and rags. She plans to send the masks to family and friends.

A teacher at my mother’s school died suddenly last week. The teacher’s death was not related to the coronavirus and was a huge shock to my mother’s school community.

Maddie's mother Karen holds a sign for a makeshift funeral for a colleague

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Madeleine Hordinski

Because the teacher’s family was unable to arrange a funeral because of the pandemic, more than 100 people showed up in cars to drive home to show their love and support.

My mom made a special poster for the family and put it in the window of her car. His sign said: “Pray for you, our hearts are with you”. It was really cool to see how the community came together.

Maddie Sabine's sister

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Madeleine Hordinski

My perception of family has definitely changed since it all started too because I think I have become more attentive to how much I appreciate my relationship with my sister. We did so many things together like running, cooking, dancing, so many things.

You know we are still bored but yes it feels good to spend a lot more time with her.

Maddie reads in her room

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Madeleine Hordinski

I think my family dynamics have also changed, everyone has changed. I think we were probably subconsciously very good at giving ourselves space during the day, just having our own time for work or spending time alone.

And then at the end of the day, we all get together and have dinner, sometimes we play a game, go out with our neighbors from afar or just watch a movie.

It’s amazing how nice people have been to each other and how inventive people have been. I loved seeing how the musicians walked down the street playing songs for everyone, or people projected movies to the side of apartment buildings so that an entire apartment could watch a movie together from afar .

Outside Maddie's house

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Madeleine Hordinski

My little neighbor (who lives on the left side of the building) named Matilda was five years old and had an ocean-themed birthday with her family. So my boyfriend, who owns a hot air balloon business, brought him ocean-colored balloons.

I think people really get together like they haven’t in a while, and it’s really cool to see.

Produced by Hannah Long-Higgins and Robin Levinson-King

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