quaranzine is a quarantine-zine, created on Thanksgiving Day 2020, by Sam Bail and all the wonderful people who have contributed. Thank you so much.

Happening live 11/26/2020.

What is this?

2020 has been a year none of us could have imagined (or maybe your imagination is a little wilder than mine...). While folks in the US traditionally spend Thanksgiving Day with their family, or adopted family, many of us will be spending the day by ourselves or in much smaller circles.

Personally, I'm quarantining at my temporary apartment in Bed Study after traveling back from Germany to visit my family, so I'm running this project while stuck at home, while baking a sweet potato pie, while drinking my way through a rotation of Rob Roy's (Scotch Manhattan), Negronis, and Scotch and Sodas.

I asked my friends to submit something... anything, that comes to their mind when they think of "2020". This is what they sent me. It's a snapshot of our minds on this day - new parents, pets, gardening, junk yards, gratitude, loss.

I'll be updating the site throughout the day as submissions come in, as I interview people, as things happen. Text me, email me, DM me on Twitter, or contact me some other way if you'd like to send me something. I'm taking contributions until midnight in your favorite time zone!

Dave Mee: 1981, not 2020

My lovely friend Dave from Manchester. Adopted my bunny friend Geth when I left the UK.

I loved to draw from an early age, but this was the first painted piece I produced. It has a crab, a fish, and seaweed in an arrangement of a tropical freshwater scene. I believe I copied it from a book and wasn’t too hot on colour mixing, though poster paint is not the most forgiving medium. I suspect I was around 8-10 when I made this, evidenced by the ability to write my name in capital letters in a controlled form.

I painted this at South Failsworth County Primary School, where I learnt I was neither catholic nor religious. Mr. Brice, the headteacher, was the first southerner I ever met. He had a distressing habit of half-chewing his food then pulling it back out of his mouth, with *stuff* on it, but I still held him in regard. The first vandalism I remember seeing was a spray-painted penis on the back of the school with ‘brice pudding’ beside it. Mr. Brice was not a slim man.

Ajay Bhargava: Dad jokes

My friend Ajay from NYC, currently in London. Coming back next year with a PhD and a baby.

Becoming a dad in 2020 meant that I got first hand experience as a stay at home father. Having had this opportunity gifted to me, I wonder why more men don't choose to take part in it willingly! There's comfort in knowing that the stresses in my life drop to the wayside the minute I look at my daughter. I don't know if I'd be able to have this in a pre-COVID world.

As for a dad joke: Most popular 🦃 dish in the era of COVID? Masked Potatoes. 😅

Josh Y: Folding laundry (a phone call)

My running buddy Josh, fellow expat in NYC and new dog foster dad.

I would have contributed something but now I’m hungover and my brain is working at 30%.

Thinking about 2020. There is a lot of long term good that has come out of this year, for all of its bullshit. Pandemics are in the global consciousness. This is the first time since the whole concept of air travel has become a thing.

Sorry, I just need to vacuum for 30 seconds before the dog comes back. [Josh is currently fostering a dog, Rex.]

He doesn’t bark at all, they said he’s suppressing shit. It was the first time he ever barked when he came over.

Angel D'az: Extremely amateurish art

Angel, technically an internet friend and inspiration.

Bita Eghbali: Lucky

A running buddy and amazing human who takes showing up for her friends seriously.

Jim Wu: Thoughts on 2020

My former next door neighbor in the East Village.

Sam, yes 2020 has been intense but we have steered away from the worst politically and I hope we can do better in the future. Let's not see the bad things and instead we should look for the good in people and even put in our work to solve problems and avoid destructive behavior!

Glenn Gentzke: Skarona Virus

My first quarantine buddy.

While in home quarantine not just under city mandate but also in the fits of being a symptomatic coronavirus patient, I passed the feverish time noodling on guitar. I barely even remember writing it but thankfully recorded the ska chords and the bassline of Skarona Virus and shared it with my brother Paul, bandmate of InRod Paul, and friend Nikki using the collaborative recording tool SoundTrap. Over the course of a week or two we had the full song as it stands despite never spending time in the same room.

It sat dormant on my computer for a few months but when Trump caught the virus it just seemed like we had to send it out into the world. The band name Curbside Happy Hour is a nod to the early days of taking drinks to go from the few bars that were able to open up early and New Yorkers were sitting on curbs pretending to have a “normal” time.

Kyle Konicek: Junk yard / A phenomenal carnival of unpredictable shit

A lovely former coworker and immensely talented photographer.

This Thanksgiving I find myself doing what I did most of 2020, walking around and taking photos. When Sam reached out I had just happen to take this photo of a junk yard deep in Greenpoint, filled with trucks and shipping containers containing unknown...shit.

Much like 2020 itself, a phenomenal carnival of unpredictable shit. At first its hard to find the beauty in a junkyard. There’s not much to look at. I couldn’t find any beauty in 2020. I got dumped, my dog died, my best friend moved away, Donald Trump is doing Donald Trump shit and oh yeah that whole pandemic thing is still ravaging the world. But within this chaotic orgy of hell, I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about the world too, and I came to see the beauty in it all.

I’m thankful today (even though I don’t like thanksgiving because it’s a way to whitewash a genocide) for 2020. I have a feeling 2021 may not be so different, but after all this I’m ready to see what else life can throw our way.

Ryan Standlee: A certain simplistic peace

My college roommate in Manchester. Another new dad.

Well... In February we just snuck in a Japan trip before Covid hit, which was probably the most memorable holiday of my life! Wanted to go there since I was a kid. But from March up until Dylan was born in August the whole period is a blur. Nothing happened. The country has been in one type of lockdown or another, we can't go anywhere and I've worked from home. So it's almost like a 'lost' year because every day blurred into the next during that time.

There was a certain simplistic peace to it, I did alot more exercise and not having a morning commute was quite wonderful. And my bank balance enjoyed not having to pay UK train ticket prices! But it also seems quite empty now, devoid of anything memorable or exciting. Then Dylan arrived in August and it has been a whirlwind of figuring out how to be a parent! Luckily 5 months off work at full pay (it's good to work for a trade union!) for me means I get to be involved in this early part of her life in a way most Dads can't. So this is obviously going to be an incredibly memorable time of my life. I think looking back at 2020 in like 10 years time it will probably end up being one of the most significant years of my life for all kinds of reasons, despite me not really remembering what happened between March and August!

Tim Tran: Dogs

A fellow expat in NYC. Ran out of Tim Tams.

When I think of 2020, I think of change. I changed positions at work. I changed apartments. I’m starting to love dogs more than cats. I started jogging more than skating. I’ve made new friends and changed things up socially too. And I’ve been super fortunate as things have definitely changed for the better for me. I’m healthier, more balanced, and much more focused in general.

Also, have I mentioned how much I love dogs now?

Maria Copeland: Hammock

A lovely classmate at Manchester University. I crashed at her house the last night before I left the UK for good.

Ok here it goes .., This is my garden in Manchester. When I bought this house I knew this garden would be our little piece of holiday. During lockdown I spent so much time at home working and homeschooling but on Saturdays I would set my hammock up, get my tea and a fat book and loose myself in the garden. Last year looking after the garden gave me back my strength, this year sitting in the garden I found peace and a different type of resilience to get us through this awful time.

Victoria Guiseppi: The World I Know

My multi-faceted kickass skater buddy in NYC!

The World I Know, cover by Victoria

2020 has been quite the year for many of us. It drastically changed the world I knew in a way that I never expected. Before the pandemic went into full swing, I was living in upstate New York for a few months. During this time, I was commuting to work in FiDi, which really took a huge toll on my mental health and general happiness. In March, I finally was able to move back to Brooklyn and into my dream apartment. I had my eye on this building for quite some time and waited a year for something to become available. I wasn’t expecting that 6 days after I moved into my sweet new Brooklyn pad that we would be in a pandemic lockdown. The city was starting to feel like a ghost town. It definitely was not what I remember leaving behind. I couldn’t see my friends, people were dying at alarming rates, and no one really knew how to fight the virus. I was scared. I was depressed. I was scared for the world as I knew it.

Then several months later, the killing of George Floyd sparked national outrage. Americans took to the streets and social media to express their anger and frustration with the deep rooted oppression of black people in this country. During this time I learned, unfortunately, that a lot of people that I considered “friends” were closet racists. They held on to some deep rooted prejudice against people of color that didn’t really surface until social media forced everyone to face systematic racism head on. This changed the world I knew since I had to cut ties with many friends that revealed through their actions and ignorant statements, that they only saw me as a “token" to validate that they arguably were not racist.

U.S. Elections happened during the pandemic as well. Many people believe that this has been the most polarizing election in U.S.history. I have to disagree with that. I think that America is changing and it is no longer acceptable to be racist, misogynistic, ignorant, homo/trans phobic, etc. To think that it was even acceptable to be those things in the first place is deeply upsetting. More people are being held accountable for their beliefs which is a good thing in my opinion. We should all be holding the people in our lives accountable, even if it means having to end some relationships.

As many of you may or not may not know, I am a 90’s Alternative music buff. No, really. I am seriously stuck in the 90’s and I don’t think I will ever escape. In 1995, a band called Collective Soul released a song called ’The World I Know’. I found myself listening and resonating with this song a lot during the pandemic since the world I knew had drastically changed. Music is a safe healing space for me so I recorded a cover of this song when I was wallowing in the doldrums. The guitar, drums, and the very questionable vocals, were recorded by yours truly. Kyle, the AI provided by Apple, is ripping it up on drums. Imagine having a drum set in a Brooklyn Studio apartment? I can’t imagine it either which is why I use AI. =P

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world I know and I’m starting to think that I may never get that back.


Gossip Girl

Preeti Gill: Banana for scale

One of my first friends in NYC. A kind soul, now bringing her warmth to Michigan.

My backyard kept me sane this quarantine. I'm really grateful for having a garden to play in each morning and every day after work. Last year I did my first gardening in the ground experiments (I used to garden in pots everywhere else I lived). My big disappointment was the zuchinni. I only got two tiny zuchs and lots of powdery mildew. But this year, I had the time to learn and tend to the plants more. The result was we needed to learn lots of recipes with zuchini and get comfortable with a spiralizer:) They came out enormous! Banana for scale.


The only friend I always tell I love you when I say bye, just like that.

[Drawing by Lynsey]

Avalon Hogans: Black Sheep / Browsing

My cousin in Houston, TX. 17 years young, enough talent and integrity to last for years.

idk if any of these will work but the first is just a screenshot of a poem i wrote over summer inspired by the height of the BLM movement and something i’d say to my younger self

and then the photo was actually pre quarantine from my sophomore photography class but it does give me quarantine vibes lol. it’s just of my friend elijah. it was untitled but if you need one you can just call it “Browsing”. that’s just something i made up rn

Risa Xu: Falling in love

A former coworker's better half, but also a wonderfully smart and thoughtful internet friend.

2020’s honestly been a lot of... self reflection, introspection, blah blah. As cheesy and annoyingly millennial that sounds, it’s really true. That meme that’s floating around about how this year has been about learning to be grateful for what I have instead of yearning for what I want basically sums it up for me.

Particularly, I’ve fallen in love with New York after living here since 2014. (I know. I know.) Kudos to how a city with this many people that normally are super disconnected from each other has really made me feel less alone somehow.

Here’s to 2021 being a much much much much better f*cking year for us all.

Mark Powell: Assorted holiday rubbish

Manchester buddy, Twitter friend, the most soothing streamer on Twitch.

It usually happens around 4-5pm on The Festive Day [insert your own here], like an hour or so after you’ve all eaten, and after the strong booze has come out, and then probably the backup strong booze, and just as it’s starting to go dark outside in that soft deep blue way that you only really get in the early days of winter. You’ll be taking a gross black bag of assorted holiday rubbish out to the big bins - potato scrapings and congealed gravy and torn-up paper hats and wine corks and gift wrap and busted glass and the spent fuses of pulled crackers - and you’ll close the kitchen door behind you and step out into that soft blue dark.

The evening chill hits your flushed cheeks with a real slap, and it’s almost shockingly still and quiet as you crunch down the driveway of a house you probably don’t live in (perhaps you used to, once, but so many years ago now that it doesn’t really feel a part of you in the same way any more). You look back at the house over your shoulder, and the windows are just a foggy orange glow so you can’t really see in, but you can hear the muffled sounds of some stupid party game or cheesy movie, or a tipsy argument, or Mariah Carey, or whatever. Someone rattling plates in the kitchen and doing Very Bad Singing, that kind of thing. Someone yelling that the dog ate all the leftover cranberry sauce and threw up.

Maybe there’s a glitter of frost on the gate. Maybe a car door slams a couple of streets over. Maybe the first couple of stars are just beginning to peek out, if we’re really writing this scene properly. And we are, so you set down the bin bag and just stand there gazing up at them for a second, feeling the bite of cold through the soles of whoever’s shoes you slipped on to do the job, watching your freezing breath curl upwards and disappear, and in your head you sort of zoom out of your yard and your street and your city, and you think about being an ant-sized hitchhiker on a random giant rock hurtling through empty space, and how most of the very few alive people that you truly know - or who truly know you - are stuffed into that overheated brick box behind you right at this second, all sweating in itchy new jumpers and doing poorly concealed turkey farts, half-assing the assembly of some nephew’s Lego pirate ship or trying to mime the title of a famous book they haven’t read and never will, just being extremely themselves and extremely annoying and extremely there, and you’ve all been apart for so long and done so much and now here you all are again, and it’s the same, and it’s different, and it won’t last forever, it can’t, but you’re exactly where you should be right now for once in your entire life, and it’s sort of a good and sad feeling all at once.

And you exhale one long last misty breath up into that soft blue dark, which seems deeper now (how long have you been out here? A minute? An hour?), watch it tumble away and vanish. And then you dump the trash and go back in, because what else are you gonna do. What else are you gonna do.

Anyway, I’m thinking about my US friends and how a lot of them would be having their own little versions of this today, on Thanksgiving, except that it’s really going to hit different for a lot of people this year, if it hits at all, and...I guess I’m just saying let’s make 2021 a really good one if we can. Lots of love.

Danielle Deluty: 2020 The Great Erasure (a performance art piece)

Former coworker and fellow stand up comedian, but actually funny.

David Dao: Even Santa

A running buddy. Fastest feet in NYC.

Rabeb Othmani: Quarantine

A fellow techie from Manchester, digital nomad, runner, and style icon.

I just wanted to say Hi from a girl quaranteening in South Korea to another quaranteening in New York :) The photo above is the view from my quarantine room. It's Incheon airport. It's like life is laughing at me. Here I'm unable to go anywhere while I see countless airplanes taking off daily. It's truly ironic.

Baelynn Willbergh: I’ll Believe in Anything

Jersey girl, momma bear, playlist plug.

2020 has been the year of “well damn.” To moving at the beginning of the pandemic, switching jobs, finding and remitting relationships on an incredibly large scale.. to now at the end of this whirlwind of a year housing another life inside of me and sleeping to a man whom I’m excited to co-parent with all while raising an 11 year old from a distance.

I’ve spent the greater portion of this year transcribing lots of emotions into playlists because I personally have never been good with my words, and always seem to find that other people have said things far better already anyways. Thinking about that, I’ve also spent the greater portion of this time considering what would be the theme song to this year, if I were to give it one. Would it be reminiscent of being a “hood rat” and learning to finally “ghost ride the whip” in the beginning of the pandemic and the careless mania I induced upon myself? Or would it be something melancholy that would remind me of watching the news and seeing numbers of those died, wondering when it would happen to me?

Ultimately I settled upon a song I listened to obsessively between the ages of 18-20, “I’ll Believe in Anything” by Wolf Parade. Now I could go on and write a whole dissertation of sorts as to the why, but I’ll leave that up to you to interpret. I’ll end this with a quote from the song, “But I’ll believe in anything, and you’ll be believe in anything.”

Eddie Wharton: Like father, like son

My almost-roommate-turned-long-time-friend :)

I’m grateful that I spent the summer in quarantine getting closer with my dad who lives by the beach. I got a small used sailboat. He taught me how to sail. We did this in the same waters that his dad taught him how to sail.

Alda Pontes: Belly time, kerrrrching!

Former coworker and one of those magical humans.

In this video, Alda - a digital nomad and yogi - demonstrates several novel positions for working from home. There's also a bird.

Made with love and gratitude, in Brooklyn, NY, 11/26/2020.