Social Isolation Archive: Desiree Collins and the millennial response

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Desiree Collins in her home office, where she’s spending a lot of time in social isolation. (Courtesy: Desiree Collins)

This perspective was contributed by Desiree Collins. Share yours with us, too!

My name’s Desiree, and I’m a graduate student at DU.

I’m lucky enough to have an office. I never really expected it to be professional, just a space where I can do my work — so it looks much more like a high schooler’s bedroom.

But it makes me happy.

There’s lots of colors, incense burning, plants and at least two cats snuggling somewhere in sight. If I’m lucky, all four of them will be in here.

I live on the corner of a busy street, and yes, it’s still busy. So I still get traffic sounds and people blasting music, hopefully on the way to their essential jobs, but probably just to Starbuds.

Desiree Collins and her cats. (Courtesy: Desiree Collins)

I’m a macro thinker. I think about systems, societies, cultures.

I’m going to be 33 this summer. Our generation has really been defined by instability.

9/11 happened when I was in high school.

When many of my peers were graduating in 2008, we had the crash. Myself and my husband at the time were both laid off, and it was a really difficult time. But we weren’t strangers to poverty either.

Now, there’s this.

While we keep saying this is unprecedented, it’s really not. Yeah, I’ve never been ordered to say home before. I’ve never lived through a pandemic.


We’re like: new manure, same smell. And we laugh it off with memes.

Personally, I feel very lucky this time around.

I have been signing up for so many workshops and taking 15 minute breaks every 2 hours to get a short workout in. I have my cats, my plants. I zoom and chat for socialization.

But because I am a millennial, I’m not expecting it to last. I try to stay flexible and plan for everything I can. But, you know, I might need to make some unanticipated moves to keep my head above water. We’re a resilient bunch, and we’ll get through this.

This is part of the Denverite Social Isolation Archive Project. We want to hear from you, too! Here’s how to contribute.

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