In late July, Gloria Skigen, 57, returned to Stamford, Conn., after dropping off her daughter at Duke University in North Carolina. To abide by state regulations around coronavirus, she entered a 14-day quarantine. Her husband and son checked into a nearby hotel. Six days later, on Aug. 4, Isaias knocked out the power, internet and even water at her home. She would stay there for the next nine days.
“We’ve lived in this house for, like, 30 years and we’ve been without power before,” Ms. Skigen said. “The feeling that I could not leave the house, that really changed it.” Quarantine transformed the experience “from being like, ‘OK, this is fun, we’re camping,’ to actually being pretty hard.”
Ms. Skigen estimates she spent two hours a day hauling jugs of water from a neighbor’s hose back to her house in order to flush the toilet, bathe and water the garden she planted when quarantine began. For entertainment, there was knitting — she made a “funky grandpa cardigan” — and reading.
“Seriously, ‘Little House on the Prairie,’” she said.
Her quarantine ended the same day that her power returned. That evening, she sat in the same room as her husband for the first time in 14 days. “What an odd experience that was,” she said, “to be both sitting with him and not be sitting in the dark. And I told him, I said, ‘No, it’s actually unsettling. It feels weird now, that’s how much it impacted me, to be without power for nine days like that.’”
“I am my own boss, I run my own business, so if I have no internet and can’t work, I have to work a lot harder when I do have connection or there’s no paycheck,” wrote Skyla Rayne, who is 25 and who sells cosplay-themed erotica on the subscription site OnlyFans, in an email written on their mobile device (cell service was not affected). “I’m sort of a workaholic, so I have been focusing on all of the work I can do offline. Optimum had a few hours of intermittent connection, which I used to schedule posts on the website where I receive my main source of income from.”