Home is a powerful place for all of us, and its presence feels particularly acute right now. But how do quarantine and isolation affect our perception of the space? Homebound: Dispatches on COVID-19 & How We Live asks this of three writers currently negotiating this reality in different parts of the world—Hong Kong, Seattle, and Florence. We hope their explorations can help us better understand our changing sense of home.
We live in Settignano, a sleepy neighborhood overlooking Florence, fringed by woods and olive groves—the kind of place where everyone knows each other. There's something comforting and safe about being here. Maybe it's the fact the place itself is easy on the eyes, that the community is small and tight-knit, or that it's not the first time that this has been the preferred setting for avoiding a pandemic: Boccaccio's Decameron is set right here in Settignano, in a villa where a group of friends have fled Florence and tell each other stories to pass the time, while the Plague ravages the continent in the 14th century.