George Fox Journal

This issue: Summer 2020

photo essay during pandemic

COVID-19 Photo Essay

Photos by Chris Low

Student in classroom wearing a face mask.

A new reality: As news of the spread of COVID-19 became more prevalent, students began practicing social distancing and other safety precautions in the classroom. In late March, campus was closed to comply with Oregon’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” mandate.

Road Sign about COVID-19

Sign of the times: A traffic sign on highway 99W reminds drivers coming into Newberg to avoid large group gatherings.

Bruin Community Pantry

Strength in community: While campus was closed, the Bruin Community Pantry food bank remained open, with enhanced safety protocols, to ensure that no George Fox student went hungry.

Social Distancing

Social distancing: A student sits alone in the university’s outdoor amphitheater. As students moved home to begin remote learning, sights like this around campus became much more common.

Zoom meetings

Meeting of the minds: The university leadership team, including President Robin Baker, connects via Zoom to discuss how best to care for students in a remote learning environment.

Deep cleaning

Deep cleaning: A Jani-King employee disinfects one of the residence hall bathrooms.

VEnglish professor Jessica Ann Hughes

Home/work: English professor Jessica Ann Hughes leads class from a makeshift home office.

Virtual classroom

Virtual classroom: Biblical studies professor Brian Doak finds a creative way to engage with students.

Sign of hope

Signs of hope: George Fox alumna Jessica (Lavarias) Brittell (’06), co-owner of MOB Signs, created this display outside the Providence Newberg Medical Center to show appreciation for doctors and nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jake Thiessen and Moses Hooper from the marketing communications department pray before a virtual meeting

The university that prays together… Jake Thiessen and Moses Hooper from the marketing communications department pray before a virtual meeting.

Featured Stories

photo essay during pandemic

The Class of COVID-19

photo essay during pandemic

COVID-19 Through the Eyes of Students

photo essay during pandemic

Engineering a Solution

photo essay during pandemic

Essential Personnel

photo essay during pandemic

Friendship House

photo essay during pandemic

Taking Aim at the Opioid Epidemic

photo essay during pandemic

What's Next

photo essay during pandemic

52 Years and Counting

photo essay during pandemic

A Century of Mentorship

photo essay during pandemic

Going for Gold

photo essay during pandemic

PNW Adventures

photo essay during pandemic

Serving with Passion

Bruin Notes

Alumni Connections

12 Photo Essays Highlight the Heroes and Heartaches of the Pandemic

Pictures piece together a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

photo essay during pandemic

Photos: One Year of Pandemic

A boy swims along the Yangtze river on June 30, 2020 in Wuhan, China. (Getty Images)

A year has passed since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March, 11, 2020. A virus not visible to the human eye has left its mark in every corner of the world. No single image can define the loss and heartache of millions of global citizens, but photojournalists were there to document the times as best they could. From the exhaustion on the faces of frontline medical workers to vacant streets once bustling with life, here is a look back at photo essays published by U.S. News photo editors from the past year. When seen collectively, these galleries stitch together a year unlike any other.

In January of 2020, empty streets, protective masks and makeshift hospital beds became the new normal in Wuhan, a metropolis usually bustling with more people than New York City. Chinese authorities suspended flights, trains and public transportation, preventing locals from leaving the area, and placing a city of 11 million people under lockdown. The mass quarantine invokes surreal scenes and a grim forecast.

Photos: The Epicenter of Coronavirus

WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 31:  (CHINA OUT) A man wears a protective mask as he rides a bicycle across the Yangtze River Bridge on January 31, 2020 in Wuhan, China.  World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on January 30 that the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).  (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)

Photojournalist Krisanne Johnson documented New Yorkers in early March of 2020, during moments of isolation as a climate of uncertainty and tension hung over the city that never sleeps.

Coronavirus in NYC Causes Uncertainty

A young man with flowers waits for the subway at theTimes Square-42nd Street Station as New Yorkers deal with the spread of the Coronavirus in Manhattan, NY on March 13, 2020.

For millions of Italians, and millions more around the globe, the confines of home became the new reality in fighting the spread of the coronavirus. Italian photojournalist Camila Ferrari offered a visual diary of intimacy within isolation.

Photos: Confined to Home in Milan

March 17, 2020 | Milan, Italy | Self portrait while working. During the day, the sun moves from one side of the apartment to the other, creating beautiful windows of light.

Around the world, we saw doctors, nurses and medical staff on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photos: Hospitals Fighting Coronavirus

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24:  Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24, 2020 in New York City. New York City has about a third of the nation’s confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the center of the outbreak in the United States. (Photo by Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

As the pandemic raged, global citizens found new ways of socializing and supporting each other. From dance classes to church services, the screen took center stage.

Photos: Staying Connected in Quarantine

NAPLES, ITALY - MARCH 13: Women during the 6pm flashmob on March 13, 2020 in Naples, Italy. The Italians met on the balconies of their homes in a sound flashmob that involved all the cities from north to south to gain strength and face the Coronavirus pandemic, reaffirming the importance of respecting government guidelines in this moment of great difficulty . In Naples in the San Ferdinando district some inhabitants of what are called in jargon "Vasci" (Bassi), small houses on the ground floor without balconies, obtained in the ancient cellars of the historic buildings, poured into the street intoning traditional Neapolitan songs with improvised tools with pots and other household utensils. (Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

In April of 2020, photographer John Moore captured behind the scene moments of medical workers providing emergency services to patients with COVID-19 symptoms in New York City and surrounding areas.

Photos: Paramedics on the Front Lines

YONKERS, NY - APRIL 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY)  Medics wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), intubate a gravely ill patient with COVID-19 symptoms at his home on April 06, 2020 in Yonkers, New York. The man, 92, was barely breathing when they arrived, and they performed a rapid sequence intubation (RSI), on him before transporting him by ambulance to St. John's Riverside Hospital. The medics (L-R) are Capt. AJ Briones (paramedic) and Michelle Melo (EMT). The Empress EMS employees treat and transport patients to hospitals throughout Westchester County and parts of New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted undocumented communities that often lack unemployment protections, health insurance and at times, fear deportation.

Photos: Migrants and the Coronavirus

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - MARCH 17: Venezuelan migrants dry their clothes and things on the grass on March 17, 2020 in Bogota, Colombia. According to official reports, 65 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. Crossings to and from Venezuela were closed and travel from Europe and Asia was banned. Events of over 500 people are prohibited. (Photo by Ovidio Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Aerial views showed startlingly desolate landscapes and revealed the scale of the pandemic.

Photos: COVID-19 From Above

Aerial view of a few people still enjoying Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 20, 2020 despite the request by the State Government to avoid going to the beach or any other public areas as a measure to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. - South America's biggest country Brazil on Thursday announced it was closing its land borders to nearly all its neighbours to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state also said it would bar people from its world famous beaches including Copacabana and Ipanema. (Photo by Mauro PIMENTEL / AFP) (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP via Getty Images)

With devastating death tolls, COVID-19 altered the rituals of mourning loved ones.

Photos: Final Farewells

The family of Larry Hammond wave as a line of cars with friends and family, who could not attend his funeral due to the coronavirus, pass by their home, in New Orleans, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Hammond was Mardi Gras royalty, and would have had more than a thousand people marching behind his casket in second-line parades. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

In recognition of May Day in 2020, these portraits celebrated essential workers around the globe.

Photos: Essential Workers of the World

Renata Gajic, 45, who works at a supermarket, poses for a picture in Mladenovac, Serbia, on April 21, 2020 during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. - Ahead of May Day on May 1, 2020, AFP portrayed 55 workers defying the novel coronavirus around the world. Gajic is equipped with face masks and gloves by the supermarket and her work has not changed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Vladimir Zivojinovic / AFP) (Photo by VLADIMIR ZIVOJINOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

In May 2020, of the 10 counties with the highest death rates per capita in America, half were in rural southwest Georgia, where there are no packed apartment buildings or subways. And where you could see ambulances rushing along country roads, just fields and farms in either direction, carrying COVID-19 patients to the nearest hospital, which for some is an hour away.

Photos: In Rural Georgia, Devastation

Eddie Keith, 65, of Dawson, Ga., poses for a portrait outside of his church on Sunday, April 19, 2020, in Dawson, Ga. Keith lost his pastor to COVID-19. Keith has worked at Albritten's Funeral Service for around 35 years and was the person to retrieve his pastor. He felt like he'd lost a brother. "Why God? Why God? Why God?" Keith thought as he retrieved his pastor. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

In January of 2021, as new variants of the virus emerged, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and other vaccines led a historic global immunization rollout, offering hope.

Photos: COVID-19 Vaccinations

TOPSHOT - Health professional Raimunda Nonata, 70, is inoculated with the Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccine against COVID-19 inside her house becoming the first Quilombola (traditional Afro-descendent community member) to be vaccinated at the community Quilombo Marajupena, city of Cachoeira do Piria, Para state, Brazil, on January 19, 2021. - The community of Quilombo Marajupena, 260km far-away from Belem, capital of Para, doesn't have access to electricity. (Photo by TARSO SARRAF / AFP) (Photo by TARSO SARRAF/AFP via Getty Images)

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Tags: Coronavirus , public health , Photo Galleries , New York City , pandemic

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COVID-19 photo essay: We’re all in this together

About the author, department of global communications.

The United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC) promotes global awareness and understanding of the work of the United Nations.

23 June 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has  demonstrated the interconnected nature of our world – and that no one is safe until everyone is safe.  Only by acting in solidarity can communities save lives and overcome the devastating socio-economic impacts of the virus.  In partnership with the United Nations, people around the world are showing acts of humanity, inspiring hope for a better future. 

Everyone can do something    

Rauf Salem, a volunteer, instructs children on the right way to wash their hands

Rauf Salem, a volunteer, instructs children on the right way to wash their hands, in Sana'a, Yemen.  Simple measures, such as maintaining physical distance, washing hands frequently and wearing a mask are imperative if the fight against COVID-19 is to be won.  Photo: UNICEF/UNI341697

Creating hope

man with guitar in front of colorful poster

Venezuelan refugee Juan Batista Ramos, 69, plays guitar in front of a mural he painted at the Tancredo Neves temporary shelter in Boa Vista, Brazil to help lift COVID-19 quarantine blues.  “Now, everywhere you look you will see a landscape to remind us that there is beauty in the world,” he says.  Ramos is among the many artists around the world using the power of culture to inspire hope and solidarity during the pandemic.  Photo: UNHCR/Allana Ferreira

Inclusive solutions

woman models a transparent face mask designed to help the hard of hearing

Wendy Schellemans, an education assistant at the Royal Woluwe Institute in Brussels, models a transparent face mask designed to help the hard of hearing.  The United Nations and partners are working to ensure that responses to COVID-19 leave no one behind.  Photo courtesy of Royal Woluwe Institute

Humanity at its best

woman in protective gear sews face masks

Maryna, a community worker at the Arts Centre for Children and Youth in Chasiv Yar village, Ukraine, makes face masks on a sewing machine donated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and civil society partner, Proliska.  She is among the many people around the world who are voluntarily addressing the shortage of masks on the market. Photo: UNHCR/Artem Hetman

Keep future leaders learning

A mother helps her daughter Ange, 8, take classes on television at home

A mother helps her daughter Ange, 8, take classes on television at home in Man, Côte d'Ivoire.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, caregivers and educators have responded in stride and have been instrumental in finding ways to keep children learning.  In Côte d'Ivoire, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) partnered with the Ministry of Education on a ‘school at home’ initiative, which includes taping lessons to be aired on national TV and radio.  Ange says: “I like to study at home.  My mum is a teacher and helps me a lot.  Of course, I miss my friends, but I can sleep a bit longer in the morning.  Later I want to become a lawyer or judge."  Photo: UNICEF/UNI320749

Global solidarity

People in Nigeria’s Lagos State simulate sneezing into their elbows

People in Nigeria’s Lagos State simulate sneezing into their elbows during a coronavirus prevention campaign.  Many African countries do not have strong health care systems.  “Global solidarity with Africa is an imperative – now and for recovering better,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.  “Ending the pandemic in Africa is essential for ending it across the world.” Photo: UNICEF Nigeria/2020/Ojo

A new way of working

Henri Abued Manzano, a tour guide at the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna, speaks from his apartment.

Henri Abued Manzano, a tour guide at the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna, speaks from his apartment.  COVID-19 upended the way people work, but they can be creative while in quarantine.  “We quickly decided that if visitors can’t come to us, we will have to come to them,” says Johanna Kleinert, Chief of the UNIS Visitors Service in Vienna.  Photo courtesy of Kevin Kühn

Life goes on

baby in bed with parents

Hundreds of millions of babies are expected to be born during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Fionn, son of Chloe O'Doherty and her husband Patrick, is among them.  The couple says: “It's all over.  We did it.  Brought life into the world at a time when everything is so uncertain.  The relief and love are palpable.  Nothing else matters.”  Photo: UNICEF/UNI321984/Bopape

Putting meals on the table

mother with baby

Sudanese refugee Halima, in Tripoli, Libya, says food assistance is making her life better.  COVID-19 is exacerbating the existing hunger crisis.  Globally, 6 million more people could be pushed into extreme poverty unless the international community acts now.  United Nations aid agencies are appealing for more funding to reach vulnerable populations.  Photo: UNHCR

Supporting the frontlines

woman handing down box from airplane to WFP employee

The United Nations Air Service, run by the World Food Programme (WFP), distributes protective gear donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Group, in Somalia. The United Nations is using its supply chain capacity to rapidly move badly needed personal protective equipment, such as medical masks, gloves, gowns and face-shields to the frontline of the battle against COVID-19. Photo: WFP/Jama Hassan  

Ballet Manguinhos resumes performing after a COVID-19 hiatus with “Woman: Power and Resistance”. Photo courtesy Ana Silva/Ballet Manguinhos

Brazilian ballet pirouettes during pandemic

Ballet Manguinhos, named for its favela in Rio de Janeiro, returns to the stage after a long absence during the COVID-19 pandemic. It counts 250 children and teenagers from the favela as its performers. The ballet group provides social support in a community where poverty, hunger and teen pregnancy are constant issues.

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Photo essay: Faces of the Pandemic

A pandemic photo essay

Anusha sundararajan, cesar vazquez, sandra johnson, hiam naiditch, merceditas villanueva, felipe lopez, alice lu-culligan, leah tenenbaum.

Faces of the Pandemic is an ongoing portrait photography project documenting the experiences of essential health care workers throughout the pandemic—an unprecedented time for Yale’s medical community, the nation, and the world. It is meant to show appreciation for these individuals and provide a platform for them to share their stories.

Representing a variety of roles at Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital, each participant is photographed wearing their typical work attire, including PPE. Formal portraits display respect for the subjects while candids capture their range of emotions. The photos have been minimally edited to maintain a documentary feel.

Each participant answered five questions to catalogue their experience of the pandemic. For Yale Medicine Magazine we’ve chosen to highlight a common thread: The pandemic has…

Allaire Bartel Creative Direction; Anthony DeCarlo Photography.

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photo essay during pandemic

Pandemic Pastimes: A Photo-Essay of Student Life, Fall Semester 2020

Eastern Mennonite University’s campus was bustling this fall, even as students adapted to serious public health precautions. Masks, social distancing, and even limits on indoor gatherings couldn’t break the stride of the creative staff and students who make up the Campus Activities Council and Recreational Sports teams, and the myriad clubs that appeal to unique student interests. Plus, our beautiful campus and the mild Virginia weather provides a lot of space for safe activities.

Here, EMU News has collected some of our favorite photos to share some of the games, community building, and talent sharing that took place this fall.

photo essay during pandemic

Campus Activities Council leaders Amanda Gilbert and Seth Andreas call out numbers in a game of “Screaming Bingo.” Students spread out across Yoder Arena to play, or joined by Zoom. (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Thomas Guadalupe-Johnson takes advantage of a warm fall day to paint on Thomas Plaza. (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Merry Yirga and Jakiran Richardson , officers in the Black Student Alliance, speak during the dedication of a community art project “Black Lives Matter” in front of University Commons. (Photo by Rebekah Budnikas)

photo essay during pandemic

Anisa Leonard, a barista in the Common Grounds coffee shop, serves a chilled confection to General Manager Lauren Hartzler under the plexiglass barrier installed as a health precaution this fall. (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Lindsey White serves produce to market customers who pick out sweet potatoes, winter squash, peppers, swiss chard, and herbs grown by the Sustainable Food Initiative in their on-campus gardens. The student-run club offers produce, eggs, and locally-produced milk to students for free. (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Nathan Longenecker, Seth Andreas, and Aaron Moyer present a plate of the cafeteria delicacy that inspired their tongue-in-cheek hip-hop track “Meatball Mac.” (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Professor Bob Curry, left, leads the Jazz Band in an outdoor, socially distanced rehearsal. (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Even our new Herm enjoyed some responsible outdoor socialization this semester. (Photo by Jared Oyer)

photo essay during pandemic

Aaron Horst belays while Sophie Kirkton scales the climbing wall during a Rec Sports event this semester. (Photo by Jared Oyer)

photo essay during pandemic

Nathan Oostland was a contender in a log toss held at the lumberjack-themed “Choptober Fest.” Other festivities that day included ax-throwing, jousting, “Flapjack Batter Pictionary,” and a costume contest. (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Lucy Unzicker traverses an obstacle course planned by the CAC and recreational sports via scooter board. (Photo by Jared Oyer)

photo essay during pandemic

Aficionados and vocalists share space at the open-air Thomas Plaza during a Chamber Singers recital in November. The Chamber Singers were preparing for EMU’s annual gala . (Photos by Rachel Holderman)

photo essay during pandemic

Maya Dula tie-dyes a t-shirt at an event co-sponsored by the Psychology Club and Art Club the week before Thanksgiving. (Photo by Rachel Holderman)

Discussion on “ Pandemic Pastimes: A Photo-Essay of Student Life, Fall Semester 2020 ”

It is wonderful to see these responsible gatherings. It truly shows a caring for each other that is much needed right now.

Very Creative activities! Looks like fun stuff! Thanks for sharing

I strongly second Marie Johnston and Russ Leinbach.

Comments are closed.

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Inside Sunnybrook’s Pandemic Response: A photo essay

photo essay during pandemic

**All photos were taken by Kevin van Paassen

When Canada’s first case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was confirmed in a patient at Sunnybrook on January 25, 2020, the hospital was preparing for a potential pandemic.

In the past year, Sunnybrook’s teams have worked tirelessly through stress, fear, uncertainty and a fundamental shift in the way health care is delivered.

To recognize the strength and resiliency of our staff, physicians, researchers, students, volunteers, and patients and their loved ones, these photos offer just a brief glimpse into the hospital since January 2020. View the full gallery here .

photo essay during pandemic

Two dedicated COVID-19 units opened in anticipation of a potential influx of patientsrequiring intensive care and respiratory support. Shown right is Julie Nardi, clinical and professional leader for respiratory therapy.

photo essay during pandemic

Environmental services team member Angela Corsaro sterilizes a patient room in the critical care unit in March 2020.

photo essay during pandemic

Jenny Jones, a registered nurse in one of our dedicated COVID-19 units, takes a moment to rest as patient volumes increased in April 2020.

photo essay during pandemic

The medical team on one of the COVID units prepares to reposition a patient with COVID-19 onto their stomach. The technique, known as proning, helps critically ill patients breathe by allowing more oxygen to enter the blood.

photo essay during pandemic

Physiotherapist Karen Montgomery is shown holding a patient’s hand in the critical care unit.

photo essay during pandemic

On January 9, 2021, the Shared Hospital Lab (SHL), located at Sunnybrook’s Bayview Campus, processed its one millionth COVID-19 test. SHL is a partnership between Sunnybrook, North York General Hospital, Scarborough Health Network, and Michael Garron Hospital.

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photo essay during pandemic

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Hospital News is Canada's health care newspaper since 1987. Hospital News covers developments and issues that affect all health care professionals, administrators, patients, visitors and students. Hospital News is published monthly and is made available in distribution racks placed in high traffic areas in hospitals and related institutions across the country. It is also available by subscription. © 2022 Vertical Media. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Photo Essay: New York Empties Amid COVID-19

In New York City, photographer Kit Castagne captures the empty streets as COVID-19 takes it's toll on the city.

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A woman sits in the ridges of the usually bustling Oculus, a shopping mall located across from the temporarily closed World Trade Center memorial site.

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As seen from inside The Oculus, the same woman rests against her bags and blankets.

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A cyclist crosses an empty 10th Avenue in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Devoid of traffic, those few cyclists and pedestrians still outside often spill into the empty roadways, no longer confined to sidewalks and bike lanes.

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A homeless woman sits outside the closed down Nike store on 5th Avenue. With the usual crowds of shoppers, commuters and tourists gone, Manhattan’s homeless population has grown more visible than ever in the wake of COVID-19.

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Across the city, parks and public spaces are an escape for those confined to small apartments, but many remain closed due public health concerns.

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Only a select few of The Oculus shopping mall’s stores remain open. The usual throngs of shoppers have been reduced to a sparse few PATH train passengers and passers-by.

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Usually bumper to bumper with taxis, Grand Central Terminal’s Park Avenue bridge sits empty.

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In stark contrast to Grand Central’s routinely ceaseless crowds of tourists and commuters, the station is all but empty, while its shops, stalls, and restaurants all stand shuttered.

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With no tourists around to drive trade, a souvenir shop near Times Square closes down and boards up.

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A woman walks across the Oculus’ empty atrium.

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Chairs stacked in the window of Panchito’s, a Mexican restaurant in the West Village which had to close its doors in response to the city’s order banning dining in restaurants.

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The owner of Cafe Reggio, an Italian cafe in the West Village, describes his business’ struggles in transitioning to take-out only. He remarked that he had only served "seven ninety's" worth of food that day. He then clarified that he meant $7.90, not $790.

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A worker at a Midtown florist disinfects the company’s delivery van.

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The day before restaurants switched to take-out and delivery only, a couple sits down to eat at Little Italy Pizza in Midtown.

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Unable to seat customers, a worker in Manhattan’s Extra Virgin makes repairs to the upholstery of the restaurant's seating.

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Joan, a West Village resident sits outside her building waiting for her neighbor to help take her shopping. She said anywhere would be better than Manhattan during a pandemic, but that she is here now, and doesn't know where else she would go. She has relatives upstate, but the journey to them seems too arduous. She said she's been in New York a long time, and that New York is where she will stay.

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The owner of H&H Kim corporation stands outside her SoHo grocery store. Across manhattan, shopkeepers spend a great deal of time waiting in empty stores. Upon the eventual arrival of customers some show relief, glad to have the business. Others are clearly nervous about the risk of infection. Most show an anxious mix of the two.

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At a farmer’s market in Union Square, crowds still gather despite social distancing directives. Shoppers and workers alike do their best to carry on as normal, but with a tangible sense of fear and heightened nerves.

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A father teaches his children to ride their bikes at an unusually empty athletic court in the West Village.

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The standard life of a cyclist on the Brooklyn Bridge is crawling at a snail’s pace, dodging and weaving between tourists stood shoulder to shoulder. With foot traffic all but gone, cyclists travel the length of the bridge like a bicycle freeway.

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In a city of tiny apartments, the closing of gyms brings has left public spaces the only viable places for many to exercise.

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With no cars on the streets of SoHo, a father plays frisbee with his daughters in the middle of the cobblestone road.

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A woman sits in a sparsely populated Washington Square Park.

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A security worker sits behind protective glass at the D.E.A building in the now empty Meatpacking District.

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At the Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill, the line for entry stretches around the block with shoppers spaced at six foot intervals.

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Across from St. Vincent’s Hospital, delivery workers sort through the packages destined for the surrounding buildings.

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A delivery cyclist with his e-bike takes a break in the West Village.

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Prior to New York State’s moratorium on non-essential construction, a worker monitors a building site just south of Central Park.

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A homeless man rests on a bench in Times Square.

Kit Castagne is a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Brooklyn. Before relocating to New York, he called Boston home for seven years, where he documented the lives of independent musicians in the city’s underground music scene. When the early stages of the Coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of concerts and tours across the country, Kit shifted his attention to documenting the effects of the virus as it took hold in New York City. Kit’s work has been published in a number of outlets including Vogue and The New York Times.

All photos are courtesy Kit Castagne. @kit_castagne

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Theater major Fatemeh Mehraban waits in her bedroom for instructions during a Zoom rehearsal for American River College's production of ancient Greek comedy “Lysistrata” in Sacramento on Nov. 4, 2020. The second production the ARC theater department put on since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the play was performed live over Zoom rather than pre-recorded. "It's an interesting cross between film and theater," Mehraban said of the production. "It's a weird little in between space but it's cool that we're getting to experience it." Photo by Ashley Hayes Stone for CalMatters

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Last March, when state and local officials issued stay-at-home orders to contain the coronavirus pandemic, California’s college campuses became ghost towns. Life for many students assumed a new cadence, in which the need for safety eclipsed the pleasures of the college experience.

A year later, feelings of distance ⁠— from friends, family and real-life instruction ⁠— haven’t abated. 

Some students have used technology to combat isolation. With laptops and phones at the ready, childhood bedrooms have transformed into live action theater sets while student groups and clubs found new homes on Discord servers.

Golden hour sunlight reflects off the windows of UC Santa Barbara's Rincon Hall on Aug. 4, 2020. Nearly all university-owned housing facilities remained empty through the winter quarter after closing last March following a UC-wide transition to remote instruction. Photo by Max Abrams for CalMatters

But remote instruction, now a matter of routine, still stings for many students. With few places to go, students look to break the monotony of days spent entirely at the kitchen table or in their bedroom by escaping to the outdoors. But college schedules, and the nature of distance learning, often force them to stay put.

photo essay during pandemic

The pandemic unequivocally changed all campuses, sparing no university, or student, their sense of stability. If students returned to work or resumed their commitments on campus, they did so through a litany of safety guidelines and sanitizing protocols. Once-normal fixtures of life, like volunteering for a food bank or training for a sport, now feel like a break from the cycle of pandemic living.

Bao Lee, 27, a graduate student in education and behavioral science, checks a list of food items to collect from the shelves for future distribution at Sacramento State University on Nov. 9, 2020. Lee works with the Associated Students Inc. Food Pantry as a volunteer to help students in need of supplemental groceries. Photo by Rahul Lal for CalMatters

For those living near campus ⁠— but not on it ⁠— fewer rules applied. And public health guidelines, in some instances, fell on deaf ears. While most college students observed the social contract of not spreading the virus, others chose to pretend it didn’t exist.

A student checks their phone while waiting for the elevator beneath Eureka Hall at Sacramento State University on Nov. 9, 2020. With few students on campus, the normally a busy throughway remained quiet for much of the day. Photo by Rahul Lal

That kind of neglectful behavior, however, proved to be costly. As cases rose among communities in which students partied, so too did the risks for those areas’ most vulnerable residents. Universities, along with local governments and law enforcement, stepped in with educational outreach, increased testing, citations and academic punishment.

Maskless students exit a house party in Isla Vista on Aug. 29, 2020 shortly after it was shut down by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office for violating county public health guidelines. The start of fall quarter at UC Santa Barbara saw the return of house parties despite campus and local guidelines against gathering. Photo by Max Abrams

As faculty and student employees finally start to receive vaccinations and universities plan for in-person instruction this fall, the desire for normalcy prevails. Students want to go back to school, and many are exhausted from sacrificing their time, money, safety and wellbeing to this pandemic. But if a return to learning side-by-side is near, one thing is certain: it will take effort on everyone’s part to get there.

Math major Javier Pachecho wipes down door handles at the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex at Sacramento State University on Nov. 9, 2020. Pachecho is a student safety ambassador, a group of students who patrol entrances to academic buildings to clean door handles and other frequently-touched surfaces. Photo by Rahul La

This project was produced by the CalMatters College Journalism Network , a collaboration between CalMatters and student journalists from across California. It was written by Max Abrams, with photos by Max Abrams, Logan Bik, Shae Hammond, Ashley Hayes-Stone, Rahul Lal and Pablo Unzueta. This story and other higher education coverage are supported by the College Futures Foundation.

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Shae Hammond

Shae Hammond is finishing her degree in journalism at California State University Northridge with a focus on photojournalism. Her interest in journalism began in community college when she was on the Roundup... More by Shae Hammond

Pablo Unzueta

My name is Pablo Unzueta, I'm a full-time journalism student at Long Beach State and documentary photographer. I'm a first generation Chilean-American currently based in Long Beach, and was born and raised... More by Pablo Unzueta

Scenes from a Pandemic

Fighting a virus and scared for our lives, photos by john rae.

On March 1, the first case of COVID-19 was officially reported in New York City. Within a few days, scores of critically sick began flooding into the city's 11 public hospitals, suffering from a virus that would grip our patients, staff and eventually our entire city. Teams of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists provided care for thousands of COVID-19 patients. There were moments of devastation and immeasurable loss. But, as patients recovered, signs of hope emerged. Staff created rituals to celebrate recovery and keep fighting. Because that's what heroes do.

photo essay during pandemic

Teams of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists provided care for thousands of patients with COVID-19.

photo essay during pandemic

When COVID-19 testing began in April, hundreds lined up outside health clinics including Gotham Health, Morrisania in the South Bronx.

photo essay during pandemic

COVID-19 testing at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

photo essay during pandemic

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst set up an outdoor testing tent.

photo essay during pandemic

To provide fast results, NYC Health + Hospitals labs are performing about 6,000 tests per day.

photo essay during pandemic

Pulmonologists at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst attend to patient.

photo essay during pandemic

Patient care at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx

photo essay during pandemic

Monitoring a patient at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island.

photo essay during pandemic

Dr. Noella Boma of NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in an emotional moment.

photo essay during pandemic

Paramedics assist a patient at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.

photo essay during pandemic

Dr. Regina Hammock of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull.

photo essay during pandemic

Dr. Moira McCarthy of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.

photo essay during pandemic

Attending to a patient at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst.

photo essay during pandemic

Nearly 9,000 nurses came to New York City's public hospitals to help during the surge. Here, two nurses confer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island in Brooklyn.

photo essay during pandemic

Respiratory Therapists played a crucial role during the surge.

photo essay during pandemic

COVID-19 test sample at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi Lab.

photo essay during pandemic

At NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, a doctor shares a quiet moment with a patient.

photo essay during pandemic

Health care workers quickly adapted to PPE measures and sanitization.

photo essay during pandemic

Monitoring a patient at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx.

photo essay during pandemic

Dedicated Community Care nurse Man-Hong Wan continued home visits during the surge.

photo essay during pandemic

Due to visitation restrictions at nursing homes, many residents experienced depression. At NYC Health + Hospitals/McKinney, Nurse Kerline Jean-Claude braids a resident's hair to lift her spirits.

photo essay during pandemic

Temperature checks for staff were put in place to prevent spread of the virus.

photo essay during pandemic

A Wall of Gratitude rose at NYC Health Hospitals/Metropolitan to recognize our health care workers.

photo essay during pandemic

Dr. Diaz reminded mothers to continue wellness visits for young children.

photo essay during pandemic

Staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View used Facetime to help nursing home residents connect to loved ones.

photo essay during pandemic

Head nurse, Carmintina Silvestre-Tan at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler reviews COVID-19 procedures with nurse.

photo essay during pandemic

At NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter in Harlem, staff arranged daily virtual visits at bedside that brought smiles to both residents and staff.

photo essay during pandemic

Nurse Bianca Disomma at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.

photo essay during pandemic

Dr. Mark Watson of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull.

photo essay during pandemic

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, a patient in distress is consoled by health care worker.

photo essay during pandemic

Due to visitation restrictions, patients could not see loved ones and sought comfort from doctors and nurses.

photo essay during pandemic

At NYC Health +Hospitals/Bellevue in Manhattan, teams of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists treated critically-ill COVID-19 patients.

photo essay during pandemic

Caring for positive patients at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County.

photo essay during pandemic

Dr. Amit Uppal of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.

photo essay during pandemic

At left, Dr. Matthew Langston, Director of Pulmonary Critical Care at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi.

photo essay during pandemic

The U.S. Dept. of Defense deployed 700 volunteers to the city's public hospitals including nurses, internists and support staff. World Central Kitchen provided meals for staff.

photo essay during pandemic

Staff created new rituals to celebrate recovery, like playing joyful music when a patient improved or was discharged. Employees rejoiced with singing and dancing to mark these victories.

Photo Essay Captures How COVID-19 Has Transformed BU

A photo of a dark hallway in the College of Arts and Sciences

A darkened hallway in the College of Arts & Sciences, March 18. BU buildings have been largely vacant since the University moved all teaching and learning remotely on March 16 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Cydney Scott

Images document the subtle—and not so subtle—ways the pandemic has altered campus

Bu today staff.

From the moment the University announced that starting March 16 it was moving to remote teaching and learning for the rest of the spring semester, then shuttered residences for most students as of March 22, BU campuses took on a startlingly different look, transformed overnight from bustling metropolises to a series of largely empty interior and exterior landscapes. 

Staff photojournalists Cydney Scott and Jackie Ricciardi have continued to photograph the campuses since the pandemic caused the city of Boston to limit the normal operations of businesses, even as most students have returned home and most faculty and staff are working remotely.

“As a photographer for BU Today, the biggest danger I usually face at work is whether or not I’ll squeeze into a spot on the BU shuttle on my way to an assignment on a rainy day,” Scott says. “Photographing Comm Ave during the midst of a pandemic brings risks of a different, more frightening order.” The two maintain a safe social distance when shooting their subjects—which brings new challenges. “Where I would typically move around during a shoot, being a ‘fly on the wall,’ my movement now is largely limited,” she says.

“Photographing during the pandemic has been a struggle for me,” says Ricciardi. “As a photojournalist, my goal is to capture human connection, and I wonder how I can do that successfully when the streets are empty and we’re told we must stay away from people…yet one of the most significant  events in history is happening in my lifetime and it’s my responsibility to try and capture that.”

Their images will serve to chronicle this moment in history for years to come.

A photo of Meredith Siegel and Rachel Reiser practicing social distancing while working in their office.

Meredith Siegel (left) and Rachel Reiser, both Questrom assistant deans, practice social distancing while prepping for a “dean’s huddle” meeting via Zoom on March 16. Photo by Cydney Scott

A sign posted outside the College of Communication student lounge noting that the capacity is 10 people

A sign posted outside the College of Communication  student lounge March 16. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of CAS master lecturer Bruno Rubio teaching from an empty lecture hall

Bruno Rubio, a College of Arts & Sciences master lecturer in chemistry, holding remote office hours in a Metcalf Science Center lecture hall March 17. “I was old-school with my teaching,” says Rubio, “My clinging to traditional methods of learning and teaching? I’m paying for it now!” In fact, he mastered Zoom quickly and was able to assist the eight students who needed help that day. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of an empty gymnasium at FitRec

An eerily empty FitRec basketball court on March 17. FitRec closed that day. Photo by Cydney Scott

An employee at the Paradise Rock Club on Commonwealth Ave. changes the letters on the club's marquee to read "Thanks for the memories, Tom GOAT" and "Be Kind, Stay Healthy"

Paradise Rock Club assistant production manager Will Powell posting an encouraging message on the club’s marquee March 17. The Paradise is closed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, like all the commonwealth’s bars, restaurants, and entertainment spots. Photo by Cydney Scott

photo essay during pandemic

COM staff members on video screens in the school’s Zimmerman Social Media Activation Center during a Zoom meeting March 17. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of BU custodian Grace Araujo cleaning a railing.

BU custodian Grace Araujo at work at StuVi I on March 17. BU’s custodial staff continues to clean and maintain BU’s 300 buildings during the pandemic. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

A photo of a BU custodian cleaning a residence hall.

Victory Innovations battery-operated electrostatic spray guns are prized by custodial workers for their deep cleaning ability. BU invested in about 20 of the spray guns, which are in such high demand now that they are almost impossible to get. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

A student studies in an empty Mugar Library.

The first day of remote learning: a lone student studying at Mugar Memorial Library on March 16. The library is now closed to students, but staff continue to provide support and services remotely. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

A photo of a student walking into an empty George Sherman Union

Entering the George Sherman Union on March 16 (left) and finding it almost empty on March 18 (right) must have been surreal experiences. Fewer than 450 students remain in BU housing at present. Photos by Jackie Ricciardi (left) and Cydney Scott (right)

Rev. Dr. Robert Alan Hill walks up the steps of Marsh Chapel

Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill, dean of Marsh Chapel, on his way to the chapel’s first virtual Sunday service on March 22. The eight choral scholars on the altar are six feet apart during the service. Photos by Cydney Scott 

Medical staff inside a tent outside Boston Medical Center for intake of potential coronavirus patients

A triage tent for intake of potential coronavirus patients set up outside Boston Medical Center March 20. BMC nurses Marisa McIntyre (left) and Maureen Shanahan-Frappie are among staff there who assess patients’ symptoms and determine whether they should be sent to BMC’s influenza-like illness clinic (ILI) for moderate symptoms or to the Emergency Department for more serious conditions. COVID-19 testing is done at both. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of students waiting to be picked up along with their belongings outside West Campus dormitories

Except for exceptional cases, most students living on campus had to be out of their rooms by March 22. Xing Hu (CAS’22) (left) waits with Abin George (ENG’23) outside Claflin Hall to be picked up March 20. Photo by Cydney Scott

Two students hug outside a West Campus dormitory before departing from campus

Goodbyes: Northeastern freshman Nadhur Prashant (left) with his girlfriend, Anindita Lal (CAS’23), on West Campus March 20.  Lal was returning  home to Acton, Mass., and Prashant was leaving Boston to go home to India. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of yellow bins used to move out of dorms standing outside a residence hall on Commonwealth Ave.

Bicycles and strewn moving carts in the courtyard between 722 and 726 Comm Ave on March 25, after dorms were shuttered. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of a mover in a students dorm room on the Fenway Campus.

Millyan Phillips of Piece by Piece Moving Company empties a room on the Fenway Campus’ Riverway House March 27. Students who had left belongings behind when they went on spring break were able to use an app to specify items they wanted stored, saved, or thrown out. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of the empty student center at the Fenway Campus

An abandoned Fenway Campus Center, bereft of its usual throngs of students, on April 15. The 150 Riverway building houses the campus dining hall and common student spaces as well as student residences. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

A flyer left on a table of the Fenway Campus on proper social distancing guidelines

A flyer reminding residents to maintain social distance guidelines, left on a Fenway Campus Center table. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

A photo of quarantine kits lined up on the floor of the George Sherman Union

Left photo: Quarantine kits lined up in the GSU Ballroom on April 15. The kits, containing two weeks’ worth of cleaning supplies, paper goods, pillows, linens, and nonperishable snacks and meals, were available to students quarantined on campus because of exposure to COVID-19. Right photo: Jennifer Skikas (left), GSU catering sales manager, and Joann Flores, catering manager for Questrom, load up some of the items to be delivered to empty quarantine rooms across campus on April 21. Photos by Cydney Scott

A photo of Carlos Carreiro and Andres Lopez delivering paper goods to an empty quarantine room on Comm Ave.

Lead custodian Carlos Carreiro (left) and custodian Andres Lopez deliver paper goods to empty quarantine rooms at 580 Comm Ave April 21. The University reserved approximately 50 rooms across campus for students who needed to be quarantined during the pandemic. Photo by Cydney Scott

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Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 7 comments on Photo Essay Captures How COVID-19 Has Transformed BU

Jackie and Cydney, wonderful yet weird campus shots. Thank you for being on site capturing this for us.

Thank you, Cydney and Jackie, for these images that capture so many elements of BU during this difficult time of grieving for the world, and caring for each other. You make us proud, even prouder, of BU people!

Thanks for Cydney and Jackie’s excellenct and memorable work with these capturing photos! my son is still in BU for his master degree study and will finish his study by May. Our family apprecaites all the work and effort by BU during this special and difficult period. We are proud my son is a student of BU!

Wow! Great images. Your photos tell a very moving story. You also managed to capture an image of my son studying in the library. He is the lone student at the Mugar Memorial Library. Can you please let me know how I can buy a copy of that image? Thank you.

Great work. Is there a way that I can get a copy Of one of the images. My son is in that photo.

Shoot me an email Dina and I’ll see what we can do. Cydney [email protected]

Fantastic photography & story, thank you for sharing! Our son never had the chance to return to BU after spring break, so to see what BU looks like now is very moving. Our family is grateful to all the BU staff, faculty & students and look forward to the day we can visit Boston again!

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