Fragments (virus diary)

Our lives have become fragmented.
Connections with our loved ones, friends and the outside world has become a quick jerky intake of breath between two submersions. The feeling of isolation, the insecurity and the reality of personal tragedies perceived from afar have shifted the focus.The inside and outside worlds we have come to know have changed.After the Coronavirus has appeared in Hungary as well, I, as a single father and a photojournalist and my six-year-old son have gone into voluntary self-isolation on March 12, 2020, which lasted 96 days.
Rays of sunlight seeping into the room, my inner childhood memories re-emerging, tales from my parents’ childhood. These are the points of reference to the layers of my life. I wonder what kind of memories my son will retain, how will he remember this period when he will be grown up?
‘For children it was forbidden to go out onto the streets because there were shootings. It was in the first week of November when the glasses started clinking together in the cabinet, first only slightly, then more intensely. My mother thought it was an earthquake and hastily made us crawl under the table. But actually it was caused by the tanks of the invading soviet troops as they rolled through the streets of Budapest; later we could hear the shots as well, by that time the whole cabinet was shaking, and we, the three siblings stayed under the table. This was in November of 1956…’
My father’s childhood memory
‘I remember the spring of 1986, when my favourite peach tree suddenly died one day.My dad was bemused about this because for almost a decade the tree bore plenty of fruit and it was a strong tree with a thick trunk.A few days later we came to know that there was a reactor explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, which covered a part of Europe with a radioactive cloud.’
My own childhood memory

‘The nursery school was closed. There was some kind of a global pandemic, which was very dangerous for the elderly for sure, but dad said I needed to be protected too because even after half a year, we barely knew anything about it.
I couldn’t visit my grandparents for months, we couldn’t even go outside.
Dad said this is like being in a labyrinth - you have to find a way out, even though you can’t see the exit. So he drew a labyrinth, and I found the way out!
In the meantime dad was taking pictures of all kinds of things with his camera, and afterwards we looked at the pictures together - I thought it was some kind of magic that me and dad and all of the labyrinth could fit into them.’

My son’s imaginary childhood memory
‘… time also stumbled and had accidents and could therefore splinter and leave an eternalized fragment in a room.’
Gabriel García Márquez