From ‘traveling’ to remaking movie posters, these folks have found creative ways to stay positive under quarantine

photo by: Kerri Lane Mariano

In this remake of “The Shining” movie poster, Chris Mariano, at left, breaks into the bathroom, where Kerri Lane Mariano clutches toilet paper rolls.

For a couple under quarantine, Daryl and Lydia Cobranchi have found a creative way to get out of the house.

The couple from Parkersburg, W. Va., “travel” to a different country every weekend through meals, games, movies and travel documentaries that pertain to their destination. So far, they’ve been to Italy, India, Egypt, Morocco, Greece and Ethiopia.

Daryl talks about each trip with the fond memory of a seasoned tourist, using phrases like “when we were in India.” He notes that they were able to visit Morocco and Egypt in the same weekend, and says his favorite food came from their trip to Greece.

“We’re trying to be big travelers,” the 57-year-old said.

That’s not unusual for the Cobranchis. Before COVID-19, the couple would travel domestically one weekend per month. Internationally, they had been to Jordan and Canada together. When stay-at-home orders went into place and their domestic trips were canceled, Daryl said he and his wife were fantasizing about where they would want to travel when quarantine ended.

And so, their weekend trips began. Exploring different locations, they said, will help them decide where their future real-life destination might be.

Lydia, 55, plans for the trip during the work week, buying the ingredients she needs for the menu. Daryl describes his wife as an “excellent” and “adventurous” chef. The couple also research movies, travel information and games, so they can plan other activities during the weekend.

photo by: Lydia Cobranchi

During the Cobranchis’ “trip” to India the weekend of April 3, 2020, Lydia Cobranchi cooked an Indian meal.

When they went to Italy, the couple played bocce and made homemade pasta. They watched “Casablanca” while visiting Morocco, and in Ethiopia they played mancala.

Daryl said their trips kept them positive and gave them something to look forward to.

“‘What day is today?’ I’ve had to ask myself that a few times and didn’t always get the right answer,” he said. “So it gives us something to look forward to for Saturday and Sunday.”

photo by: Lydia Cobranchi

Daryl Cobranchi plays bocce with his wife in his backyard during their “trip” to Italy the weekend of March 27, 2020.

COVID-19 opened up a new world of exploration for the Cobranchis. The couple have found an outlet for helping the weeks at home feel less suffocating. Ogden Newspapers spoke to two other people who, like the Cobranchis, have found creative ways to stay positive while under quarantine.

Teen finds creating papier-mâché animal masks ‘therapeutic’

Elisa Trujillo loves art, but she had never experimented with papier-mâché until she was stuck at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, the 19-year-old from Lawrence is making giant papier-mâché animal masks.

“I think art has always been something that I go to in a time of either turmoil or boredom,” Trujillo said. “It takes a lot of focus. You cannot stress about other things. It really is therapeutic to just sit down and do art for hours.”

Trujillo, who graduated from Bishop Seabury Academy in 2019, said her newest art project has kept her positive during the pandemic. So far, she’s completed a caribou mask and is in the middle of working on a zebra mask.

photo by: Elisa Trujillo

Elisa Trujillo is pictured on April 23, 2020, with her papier-mâché zebra mask, which has not yet been completed.

After that, she’ll make one of a shrimp and another of an owl. She first forms the shapes using cardboard and rags, and then uses copies of the local Lawrence Journal-World for her paper.

“It’s great to just wake up and now this is all I have to focus on in one day,” she said. “So I can spend hours just engrossed in my art.”

Trujillo paints her masks to look realistic, but then adds abstract shapes to her pieces. She hung papier-mâché shapes off the caribou’s antlers and plans to create a crown of abstract shapes for her zebra mask.

photo by: Jean Trujillo

Elisa Trujillo has been creating papier-mâché animal masks to keep busy during quarantine. She completed her caribou mask on April 11, 2020.

Trujillo, who plans to attend St. Olaf College in Minnesota this fall, said she’ll likely continue with her papier-mâché projects until she leaves. When asked if she would take any with her, she noted that they would be too big and “a shock for my roommate when I arrive.”

For now, they sit in her bedroom. The caribou mask is propped up against her window.

Photographer remakes movie posters with COVID-19 element

From behind a closed door, Kerri Lane Mariano clutches a package of toilet paper. At left, her husband, Chris Mariano, tries to break in, like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” His crazed face juts through the door, and he holds an empty toilet paper roll.

“The Hoarding,” the movie poster reads. “Spring 2020, playing now at any store near you.”

photo by: Kerri Lane Mariano

In this remake of “The Shining” movie poster, Chris Mariano, at left, breaks into the bathroom, where Kerri Lane Mariano clutches toilet paper rolls.

For the past month, Mariano has remade one famous movie poster a day, oftentimes featuring other members of her family and always a COVID-19 spin.

“You know, quarantine makes you a little squirrely,” she said.

But pandemic or no pandemic, Mariano is usually up to something creative. She said her family was used to her “crazy, harebrained ideas and scheming.”

Mariano, a photographer based in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., has been taking photos of families from their porches or outside their homes during quarantine. She came up with the idea of the COVID-19-themed posters as a marketing idea for her photography website, where she posts the images.

Despite Mariano’s professional photography business, her daily poster creations are by no means meant to look professional. She creates every image only using editing tools on her phone.

“If you’re going to go cheesy, go [all the way],” she said.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” became “Everyone’s Day Off” with the tagline “Every man’s struggle, all this time and nothing to do.” “Dodgeball” became “Dodge all,” with the dodgeball replaced with an image of the coronavirus. And “Guardians of the Galaxy” became “Guardians of the Charmin.”

photo by: Kerri Lane Mariano

In her remake of the well-known “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” movie poster, Kerri Lane Mariano changed the words to read “Everyone’s Day Off: Every man’s struggle, all this time and nothing to do.” From left, Chris Mariano, Shawn Sealock and Kerri Lane Mariano pose as models.

Mariano said her family got on board with her project after her first poster. Now, her husband, two sons and one of her son’s girlfriends help model. Mariano said her husband was a bit strait-laced and that it’s been especially funny having him participate.

Mariano’s favorite poster is a remake of “Dumb and Dumber,” where her husband and her son, Shawn Sealock, tug at each others’ hair and eyes.

“Toilet paper hoarders being dumb and dumber,” the poster states. Mariano said it’s her new favorite photo of her husband and son.

She hopes her project will spread humor and cheer. It’s something she’s doing to stay entertained, she said, and “just to make us laugh.”


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