The pandemic series came out of the first couple months that the pandemic really hit the United States in early March 2020. Our ability to live with the Covid virus has normalized to the point that for many people, the early days have already faded out of mind. But it was a time of immense fear, confusion, anger, and grief, felt not only individually but on a huge collective level. With every day's fresh wave of information and disinformation, came passionate arguments about the best solutions as we all struggled to cope with the bare minimum of what was being asked of us. We saw the very best of ourselves, and the very worst.
This series is written as a series of diary entries but they are not meant to be my personal diary. Rather they are based on the collective stories, experiences, fears, and losses that were common threads during these first few months. The loss of employment, which can often lead of to a loss of our sense of self, combined with the guilt or shame at accepting unemployment funds caused many to go down rabbit holes of worthlessness, depression, and anger. The volatility of the market in the more existential sense seen in the wildly swinging stock market, as well as the most tangible sense seen in the run on toilet paper and other basic necessities in the grocery market, contributed to a broader irrationality, fear, and fury. And one of the most difficult experiences we collectively went through - the loss of human contact, whether through isolation, quarantine, or death of loved ones, the inability to grieve and Be together in one of the most difficult periods many of us have ever experienced, has led to an overwhelming mental health crisis that many are still suffering from today.
Although I expect these pieces to grow increasingly dated as we move further away from spring of 2020, I hope they serves as a reminder of what that period was, and how much it influenced what came as a result of it.