by Dr. Stephan Blanford and Misha Werschkul
Since the pandemic’s onset, Washington families have experienced a rolling crisis in jobs, hunger, health, and education. The prospect of eviction hangs over far too many. Food insecurity has skyrocketed. Child care facilities have closed, many of them permanently. And a rocky transition to remote learning is now impeding students’ educational progress. The acute stress on children and families may harm kids’ health, their education, and their ability to earn a living.
Continue reading OPINION: Washington’s Children Shouldn’t Have to Relive Our Past Mistakes
by Mark Van Streefkerk
A new public service announcement promoting Washington Exposure Notifications (WA Notify) features campy content from queer and BIPOC performers, providing some much-needed levity as the pandemic drags on. With a cast of Seattle’s notable dancers, entertainers, and drag performers, new promotional videos shed light on how WA Notify helps prevent COVID-19 transmission, along with a catchy song-and-dance about how to wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and keep your COVID pod “Tight, tight, tight, t-tight!”
Continue reading Campy PSA From Queer and BIPOC Performers Promotes Washington Exposure Notifications to Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread
by Liz Covey, LMHC
I saw a friend recently that I haven’t seen in months, this being COVID times. She has started a new job — a move she’d wanted for a long time. I asked what it was like to “onboard” during this bizarre time in our history — when meeting all of her co-workers and learning all the ins and outs of a new workplace takes place 100 percent online. “It’s actually great” she said, adding, “especially since I made a friend.”
“That’s wonderful!” I replied. Then, without a thought to how this might sound — a sure sign I’m spending more time in my head lately than in social gatherings — I asked her: “How do you really know you are friends, with everything being so different now? I mean, you can’t go to lunch or chat on your way to the meeting or get a drink after work … ”
Continue reading Wired for Connection: Adapting in the Coronavirus Era
by Aliyah Newman
(This photo series originally appeared on the South End Stories youth blog.)
In March/April, I started a small photography project to capture some friends and mutuals during their own quarantines. I wanted to get an outside-in perspective and started out photographing by standing outside of their windows, looking in. But as you’ll notice, the perspectives change throughout different participants. Some pictures ended up being taken through FaceTime; some were taken on friends’ porches as I sat in their yard to catch up and talk; and some were strictly taken from behind the glass.
Continue reading Quarantine From the Outside: A Photo Series of Young Energy
by Amina Ibrahim
What was once a month filled with community gathering, food and nightly congregational prayers now has an eerie sense of loneliness that has Muslims around the world mourning the loss of traditions held dear during the holy month of Ramadan.
Continue reading Lessons Learned From Celebrating Ramadan During a Pandemic
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Seattle Together, a community response plan run by the City of Seattle, launched today, May 21, as a way for residents to share stories, resources, events, and connect virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the City.
“The short version is Seattle Together is a city-wide campaign to sort of combat feelings of isolation while we’re all forced to socially distance,” Randy Engstrom, the Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Seattle, told the Emerald in a phone interview.
Continue reading Citywide Campaign Seeks to Bring Socially Distantancing Seattleites Closer
by Marcus Harden
(This article first appeared on Rise up For Students and has been reprinted with permission.)
“As long as there are those that remember what was, there will always be those that are unable to accept what can be. They will resist.”
—Thanos, Avengers Endgame
I hate social distancing. There, I said it.
I believe in the power of language — I rarely use the word hate — and I fully understand why social distancing is necessary. I honor and respect the sacrifices workers are making that allow me to sit on my Ikea couch and write a blog post about hating it and the privilege that comes along with it.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way … every day, my heart and spirit mourns the loss of not only what was, but like so many others around me, I grieve for the lost feeling of certainty of what will be.
Continue reading OPINION: As We Mourn the Loss of “Normal,” the Time has Come to Envision a Bold New Future for Our Schools
by Jessie McKenna
This is the second in our series of articles checking in on the neighborhoods of South Seattle, produced by community members living within them. Read our first, a Rainier Beach and Dunlap check-in, here.
Per the new norm in the era of COVID quarantine, I don’t see people out on Beacon Ave as much or at the coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores like I normally would, and I miss my community — our interactions and checking in with each other, sharing news and resources. I miss being connected to my neighborhood in a way that feels organic and authentic (vs. awkward and/or virtual).
I’m grateful for the online realm where my friends and neighbors are sharing stories and information, but nothing beats face-to-face conversation and we’re not getting as many of those these days. But I caught up with some neighborhood folx to check in on them one-on-one (virtually), and then later we arranged a time for me to snap their pics from a safe distance.
Continue reading Neighborhood Check-In: Beacon Hill
by Jasmine Pulido
My suffering is nothing.
Continue reading Whose Suffering Matters?
I’m sitting at home, safe and sound. Is it possible to still feel shitty despite how good I have it? Does it matter?
When I participate in comparative suffering, I lose every time. While the homeless in Las Vegas are being “quarantined” by laying in marked-off squares in a parking lot, while my mom-friends are telling me that they now juggle full-time work-from-home with arduous attempts at homeschooling their children, while essential workers risk daily exposure to disease to sustain their (and our collective) livelihood, how much weight can I possibly put on my own suffering?