Before the coronavirus pandemic, Istanbul-based graphic designer Yasemin Demirel rarely spent two days in a row at home by herself. When stay-at-home guidelines were put in place in Turkey in the spring, she admits it was almost comical how poorly she dealt with the situation.
“There and then I knew I had two options,” Demirel told HuffPost, “I was either going to try to make something out of this feeling or I was just going to let myself be miserable. Plot twist: it was both!”
She turned her angst into art, creating a comic series called “Struggles” that delves into the highs and lows of living through a pandemic and lockdowns.
The series is a way for Demirel to check in with her emotions and put this weird year into a sort of illustrative time capsule on Instagram. So far, people seem to be relating.
“There’s one where I am drinking a cup of tea while watching a workout video. At one point I felt like everybody was doing these cool at-home workouts to stay fit during the quarantine,” she said. “I also wanted to join this fit challenge but I always ended up just watching the videos rather than actually working out. A lot of people reached out and said they’d been there!”
Turkey’s lockdown began in mid-April and eventually loosed up, Demirel said. As the country experiences a second wave of COVID-19 cases and the government starts to put stricter restrictions in place, Demirel said she’s happy to stay home. Eight months into the pandemic, she, like many of us, is much better at weathering quarantine life.
“Regardless of an official lockdown, I’ll still spend a lot of time at home just to be safe,” she said.
Scroll down for more of Demirel’s very 2020 comics.