Articles with tag: COVID-19

07/30/2021 _Perspective

Quarantined Voices

On the Transformative Impact of COVID Narratives at a Time of Crisis

1_The Story of a Year As I sit at my desk in the winter of 2021 in my home in New Jersey, USA, thinking of the story of COVID, and, also of my story of COVID, that has emerged over the past year, I struggle to find a starting point. There are many places I might begin. But this story has never been told before and its ending has not yet occurred. The uncertainty of the unfolding story throws the entire story into flux. Every day we hear new information, as well as heart-wrenching stories of illness and loss in the United States set into fatal motion in the final year of the presidency of Donald Trump. But that is not my only obstacle. I am writing with long-haul COVID, and this intellectual project is mentally taxing in a way I did not anticipate so far into my illness. As we embark on an exploration of COVID narratives, of the shapes they are taking, and of the impacts they have already had, my struggle to begin is both relevant and ironic. Indeed, we are deep in uncharted waters that have called for innovative collaborative narrative forms emerging within the uniquely limiting contexts of the global pandemic. Let’s begin here, a year after the first documented cases of COVID-19 hit the United States. Media outlets have recently reported on the experience long haulers have lived for months — that COVID patients in the grips of relentless illness have found one another online, sharing their despair and their stories with each other. In her piece for The Washington Post, Kelsey Ables delves into the isolation of COVID patients: “They face doctors who don’t believe them; media that often ignore them; friends and family who don’t understand why they aren’t better; and a virus that, with each passing month, pushes them deeper into the unknown.” As Melanie Montano, administrator for the well-known COVID-19 group on Slack, puts it, “We’re not dead but we’re not living.” [1] Dozens of social media groups for COVID patients have formed; many offer general support while others are for more specialized groups, such as parents of children with long COVID or those suffering from brain fog. Such forums offer places where patients are seen and heard. Many people write posts that begin with statements such as, I am new here. This is my story. Others write in desperation,…

09/03/2020 _Perspective

Of Animal Love and Abuse

Exploring Ambivalent Human-Animal Relationships in Tiger King (2020) during the COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 11, 2020, Girls star Lena Dunham tweeted the following: “Text from my mother: By the way we stopped watching tiger [sic] came because there are no nice people except the Tigers. #TigerKing”. [1] Amidst the vast array of tweets, posts, memes, or other social media content referring to what now counts as one of the most popular Netflix productions to date, Dunham’s post sparked my interest in the show. […]

Caring like a State

Politicizing Love, Touch, and Precarious Lives in the Time of COVID-19

The year 2020 will be remembered as the year of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The pandemic spread around the globe, and as of February 5, 2021,[footnote]“WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard,” World Health Organization, 2020, accessed December 1, 2020, .[/footnote] 104,370,550 persons had been infected, with an additional 271,180 lives taken to an early grave — sadly, this tragic record will only increase in the upcoming months. As the death toll steadily rose throughout the year, several voices were heard, crying for the need for more compassion, more love, more kindness […]

Editorial: Love

Politics, Practices, Perspectives

Love as a concept has been simultaneously central and marginalized within the humanities and the arts. It has been theorized in various and often contradictory ways, positioned as both oppressive and liberating; on the one hand, serving political and economic agendas and, on the other hand, fostering solidarity within political action. This issue of On_Culture seeks to open up the complexity presented by love and its relevance to cultural discourses within academic debates, social practices, and the political present. […]