COVID-19 Special Issue: Introduction

A Letter from the Emergency Room // In early January, scientists identified SARS-CoV2 as the causative agent for a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  The first official death from Covid-19 (the infection caused by the novel coronavirus) was reported by China on January 11.  The United States reported its first…

An Ethical Question from Sunflowers: A New Take on Nanette

Austin M. Hopkins // In her critically-acclaimed Netflix special Nanette, comic Hannah Gadsby begins her first show for a mainstream American audience with the playful autobiographical content which founded her home career in Australia. She makes self-deprecating but inherently uncomfortable jokes concerned with her identity as a lesbian woman. But as she continues into territory…

Vaccine Hesitancy and Social Justice in a Time of COVID-19

Kelly McGuire // At left: an image of a lottery machine, half-filled with numbered balls. Housebound citizens watch anxiously on televisions, waiting for their birth date to be called, disappointment mounting as it becomes clear their vaccination will now be happening fairly late in the process. The lottery itself is overseen by a military official…

Glossier No More: Following the Leadership of Retail Workers

Bojan Srbinovski // Things are happening at Glossier, the cosmetics giant famous for its millennial pink brand palette and its repeatedly stated goal to “democratize beauty.” A recent open letter published by a group called Outta the Gloss, a collective of former Glossier retail employees, indicates that these workers, whom Glossier calls “offline editors,” were…

Hierarchies of Care in Quarantine

Sara Press // In early June, the New York City Department of Health confirmed that the first dog in the United States had tested positive for Covid-19.[1] Few details were known about the dog beyond his location, his breed, and his prognosis—it was believed he would recover. However, on July 11th, the details of this…

Beyond Survival: Quality of Life in Oncology

Steve Server // Cancer is conceptually as well-circumscribed as a tumor feels when you palpate it under the skin during a routine exam.  Its hardness imprints itself upon your sensorium, and then upon your psyche, as you feel the burden of the unpleasant truth that must soon make itself known.  Dense, solid, almost like a…

Field Notes from the Classroom: Interdisciplinary Teaching and Communities of Curiosity

Travis Chi Wing Lau // This morning, I had the joy of attending a workshop with the growing Science and Nature Writing initiative at Kenyon College. During this interdisciplinary conversation, we discussed different approaches to pedagogy at multiple levels of undergraduate teaching: integrating a writing component into an intermediate science course, creative writing that interwove…

Imperfect Measures: Notes on Humanization

Emily Waples// 1. In the beginning, I refresh endlessly. A thumb hovering over a search bar icon. An enter key tentatively pressed over a web address. Coronavirus update. There are always open tabs: the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard, the CDC case data, the New York Times’s coronavirus map. You can watch the red dots bleed…