by Rae Clinkenbeard–Much has been changing over the last month due to COVID-19, and the school year is quickly coming to an end in a way no one could have expected. I definitely did not see this being the end to my senior year. As part of my senior project for my Arts Administration major, I have taken the opportunity to document a part of this historic event that we are currently living in.
Because of COVID-19, many plans have changed, including my plan for my senior project, which was originally going to involve taking professional portraits for a local business. However, that project was derailed and I had to figure out how to complete my project. That project turned into documenting the changes occurring because of COVID-19.
In the process of documenting, I have noticed a great change and the feeling of emptiness as places have closed and as plans have changed, not only stores but also for everyone else.
During this project, I have had time to reflect how photographer Dorothea Lange must have felt during the Great Depression. Seeing everything around her changing and wanting to help even if it was just with a photograph to show how the times were affecting people. I’m sure the Depression of the 1930’s took its toll on everyone’s mental health just as this virus is to us today.
Making art can brighten someone’s day or help other people understand how severe the circumstances truly are. Even though the depression was a completely different and drastic event from today’s virus outbreak, you can see through Lange’s “Migrant Mother” image how families must have felt. Workers lost their jobs but somehow had to support their families and some still had to work to help the community survive the times just as we are seeing today. Today, we have the ability to work at home which I believe will help save us in the long run.
COVID-19 has brought a great amount of change to our lives. One moment we were going about our daily routines, keeping an ear out on the news about a seemingly recent rumor. Before we knew it, COVID-19 was no longer a rumor but a reality that completely disrupted our lives in a matter of days. Now no one is on campus but, instead, doing classes online from home.
Before spring break, I had heard how people were panic buying from the stores and even witnessed some of the evidence. It was true – shelves were empty. No toilet paper and no cleaning supplies. That was unusual and I actually just laughed it off… to begin with. Not until schools began to extend spring break did it begin to seem real. Classes went online, the buildings began to have limited hours, and students began to move home. Then, the stores and restaurants took their turn to take precautions. Only take out, no dine in and the only essential stores remaining open.
Although it may seem like our lives have been turned upside down, this won’t last forever. We have been given the opportunity to spend quality time with our families and learn to adapt. We will come out of this as stronger individuals. We are quite lucky to be living in a time of high technology that allows us to stay connected with our families and friends even though we are having to stay apart.
Stay safe and do your best to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If we work together we can accomplish anything.