Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories
Interview with Clare Cinelli



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Clare Cinelli was born in Elk Grove, IL and has since lived in Roselle, IL. After entering Lake Park High School, she began to work for Oberweis Dairy ice-cream shop and also in a nursing home. Later that year, she transitioned to working for Levis as a retail employee until 2017.

Between 2016 and 2017 Cinelli volunteered for the Special Olympics program and in 2017 she began to work for Anthopologie as a retail employee, continuing there for another 2 years. In 2019 she received a promotion from Anthopologie that made her into a 19-year-old manager.

When Cinelli was hired at Anthropologie she also began attending Columbia College as an advertising major and she started selling handmade jewelry at the Columbia Shop. After spending two years pursuing her advertising degree, Cinelli changed her major to Design, a passion she has had all through high school. More specifically, she is pursing a degree in graphic design which she plans to obtain in 2021.

Cinelli was forced to stay away from campus due to the global spread of the virus COVID-19. During this time Cinelli was also put on furlough with Anthopologie and had to seek unemployment. Despite the challenges Clare was able to successfully complete the 2020 school year with her grades unaffected.

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Columbia College Chicago




COVID-19, pandemic, Chicago, Illinois, United States, coronavirus, remote learning, isolation, family, friends, academics, finances

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Arts and Humanities | Education | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


In this interview Columbia College Chicago student, Clare Cinelli, recounts her experiences from childhood to life during the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic as a college student. Cinelli describes the effects of the isolation on her mental health and gives details into the various ways she is trying to stay calm and ward off her anxiety during the quarantine. She goes into detail about how she occupied her time and finding new ways to express herself artistically without the resources from Columbia. As someone who regularly commutes to campus from her childhood home, Cinelli talks about how the campus cloure affects her college experience. She also tells where she gets her information and news about the pandemic. Cinelli explains when the virus first became a major concern in her life and what she and her family had started doing to keep safe since. She also shares her perspective on how the pandemic will be remembered in the years to come and reflects on how the American people’s reaction to the virus compares to the rest of world. Finally, Cinelli speaks in depth on what things she had taken for granted before the rise in concern for the pandemic and talks about what she has learned from the pandemic, hoping that others take it as an opportunity to learn from as well.

Conducted in spring 2020 by an Oral History: The Art of the Interview student, this interview with a fellow student in the class reflects on the pandemic and how it impacted their life. The interview is conducted based on the life history approach to oral history.

Interview with Clare Cinelli