Jaan is a twenty-something university student living in Germany. Despite the fact he lives alone, being stuck in coronavirus isolation hasn’t been too bad.
“Quarantine has been relatively good so far, even though I miss spending time with my friends I find ways to get through the day,” he told BuzzFeed News.
Earlier this month Jaan was inspired by an image he saw online. Placing a camera on a suitcase on a chair in his room, Jaan took a number of photos in different poses, changing clothes each time each time for effect.
Once he finished, he got a friend to put the images together in Photoshop and posted it to the subreddit r/QuarantineActivities with the title “Day 20 of Quarantine: Me and the boys still having fun”.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, large parts of the world have been mostly confined to their homes because of social distancing rules.
Many like Jaan are only spending time with, well, themselves — which has given rise to a tremendous meme: people editing photographs and videos to add multiple versions of themselves, creating content that makes it look like they’re not so alone.
Ryan, 26, hasn’t been finding quarantine so easy. He recently moved across the US and self-isolation has made it impossible to meet anyone new.
He’s been searching for ways to pass the time so he decided to copy one of his favourite paintings, joining in with the popular Getty Museum Challenge. But, if you look closely, you’ll see he had to get creative to depict all the painting’s characters.
“I think I’ve been going out of my way to try to stay busy just to get my mind off the current situation and everything going on,” he said.
Despite not having any photographic equipment — “I basically winged it” — Ryan was able to take photographs using his phone, which was leant against the back of his apartment on a couple of blankets.
“A lot of people told me I did a great job, my parents told me they’re proud of me,” Ryan said. “I even had someone tell me I inspired them to do one themselves, which I think is awesome.”
Charlemange Aldverera III also drew inspiration from the greats for his edited images. The 16-year-old student in the Philippines had plenty of motivation to try new things at the start of isolation, but as time wore on, he lost track of what he wanted to do.
But he’s stayed connected by photoshopping images and sharing them with friends.
Some of the editing is impressive. Lee Chesley is an LA-based stuntwoman who filmed herself fighting, uh, herself — as a way of staying in practice.
“I am constantly working on my stunt fights but due to quarantine, I don’t have anyone to fight, so I fight myself,” she told BuzzFeed News.
It took about 10 takes to nail each side of the fight, and Chesley edited them together to create the final product.
“I see all the mistakes but it was fun to figure out. I’m super happy people enjoyed it, and also some people thought it was two people — which is a compliment.”
Some people are making these images in lieu of in-person celebrations. Tim, a teenager living in Virginia, USA, has been using his computers to help researchers model the coronavirus through the folding@home project.
It was his birthday last month and he couldn’t have a party. Tim didn’t mind, but thought it could be a good opportunity to show solidarity with everyone else having a tough time in isolation. So he held his own birthday — attended by himself, multiple times.
“What prompted me to make it was to show people that they weren’t the only ones going without a birthday party this year, or other forms of celebration,” he wrote in a message.
One person commented “bro i’m glad you’re having a good time it looks like the party was a blast”.