When President Trump announced the ban on travel from Europe last month, I was more than 3,000 miles away from my Norwegian childhood home, a 24-year-old photographer creating a life of my own in New York City.
Left: My father’s photo of me headed to the garden, the evening before the end of my quarantine. Right: My father taking pictures in our garden.
I never pieced it together before living in quarantine, but my dad helped inspire my love of photography. He thought about being a professional photographer, but he was worried about if he could make a living at it. He's very security-minded.
"I didn't think I had the skills to take it to a professional level, but it was something I enjoyed for a few years," he says.
Now, during the quarantine, I've inspired him to pick up his camera again.
As my mum says: "How you look at the quarantine is your choice. You can look at the quarantine as a problem, or you can look at the quarantine as something that gives you two weeks to be with yourself, to think about things, and to develop things which you have no time for otherwise."
One night during my quarantine, we sat down and interviewed each other about what this time has meant to us, and to the world at large. We'd never done anything like that before, and it was fun and sometimes moving.
My mother said it was hard to keep her distance from me when I arrived home.
"When you came from New York, you know, the natural thing for me is to go forward to you and kiss you and hug you, you know, my little girl," she said. But even though we couldn't touch, "it's nice to, you know, have this feeling of having you close to me."
My dad said he was glad I was home. "We have to gather in these days," he said.
"So it's in everybody's interest that things are going fine all over the place, because it might affect us," my mum mused. "So maybe we will be more responsible and more conscious about how we act towards other places in the world."
For me, I think we're facing a huge change. We've been treating this planet terribly for a long time, and I think we might come out of this as better people but also with a better planet.
But on a more personal level, even though I've sometimes felt restless and confined in my old home, this quarantine has given me a precious time with my parents.
I'm the journalist, but they interviewed me that night too. This is what I said.
"The best part is that I'm getting a lot closer to you guys, and I don't think I would ever get this close if it hadn't been for me literally being locked down in this house. ... And I think a lot of people will come out of this knowing the people they lived in the house with better. And I'm very grateful for that."
PHOTO EDITING GABRIELLE FONSECA; Video editing Marika Kochiashvili; TEXT EDITING KARI HOWARD; Layout Julia Dalrymple