Living With The Virus

In 2020, our lives changed dramatically. The novel coronavirus spread from isolated Wuhan, China to a global pandemic in just a few months.

Due to the coronavirus, major events were cancelled, millions of non-essential workers were fired, schools and college classes were stopped and the country went on lockdown. Since then, wearing masks and social distancing have become the new norm, and although life is slowly returning to pre-COVID days, we will still see the impacts of the virus for years to come, whether it is in society, the economy or the people right in front of us.

To showcase the impacts of coronavirus, I found myself taking pictures in downtown Iowa City, one of the main social hubs in Iowa City and Coralville. The day was warm, and eventually got hot quick due to being under the sun for prolonged periods of time while trying to capture the perfect shot. My theme, being the impacts of COVID-19, led me to have lots of free will with what I wanted to picture. At times, it would be the glass separating us from the people we once used to see face-to-face. Other times, it would be how we could still live with the virus. Some of the main themes I saw were how we were very alone, whether it was physically or simply mentally.

Although coronavirus has affected everybody in different ways, we have all felt the abrupt changes to our lifestyles, and those changes are what I wanted to show. Photography has the ability to capture a moment but also capture the emotions and the feelings that come from the person in the picture. There were times when even I was surprised how the people I pictured could still connect with each other, and other times when it really showed how alone we were at the same time. It shows the true power of photography, how it can make you feel emotions you didn’t realize you would feel and how you can connect to the people photographed. While our lives are returning to normal, I hope that these pictures will be able to showcase our emotions this year when we look back upon the coronavirus.