In the early days of her quarantine, Ema Martinez maintained a routine: for 15 minutes each day, she would throw herself a “pity party” and weep.
Living alone in her home in Lubbock, Texas, Martinez used to watch her 3-year-old grandson, Hendrix, so often that he has his own bedroom for overnight visits. But after Martinez, who suffers from chronic leukemia, decided she had to quarantine alone to protect herself from the coronavirus, the room sat empty and silent.
“I’d sit for 15 minutes and cry because I missed my grandson and I was convinced I was never going to see him again,” she said. “And then I’d move on.”
As cities and states slowly re-open their economies and ease back on social distancing regulations, many Americans are skipping the rush back to restaurants and gyms and choosing to stay home instead, their isolation now stretching into a third