Surviving with Adam
Solo Parenting in a Pandemic
By Jackie Hendricks
As a medievalist, I think I have a pretty good grasp on how the arts and humanities help people cope with a pandemic.
Giovanni Bocaccio’s 14th-century collection of 100 short stories, The Decameron, is often referred to as the prime example of how to pass the time while sheltering in place, featuring ten young people who flee to a villa outside of Florence during the Black Plague and challenge each other to tell new stories every evening.
Like those young Florentines, I have the good fortune to wait out the pandemic outside of the city, in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains where I live. But unlike Bocaccio’s storytellers, I’m not in the company of a group of friends. I am alone with my 8-month-old son, Adam.
For more on The Decameron, you can read the full translated text on Project Gutenberg, view Brown University’s Decameron Web Project, and participate in the Modern Decameron Online Story Festival organized by medievalist Daisy Black on Facebook.