The issue you hold in your hands was fueled by anxiety.
Can I just stop there? I surely don't need to go into detail about the source of my unease. We all feel some semblance of that emotion during this surreal time in human history, the entire globe weathering a highly infectious respiratory disease.
I wish my predecessors had left me with a packet conveniently labeled "What To Do During a Global Pandemic." Alas, there's no playbook for putting together a magazine in this environment, or for anything we do these days. Who knew buying toilet paper would require tenacious fortitude?
I sit down to write this letter from my new office, aka a game table in my basement. Early on in our production, the magazine staff—and all my colleagues—were told to work remotely and play our part in social distancing. We also had to social distance from this issue's original editorial lineup, as little of it felt appropriate to report on anymore. I struggled with what to fill these pages. Certainly we had to include stories related to the impact of COVID-19, but how many and on what topics?
Ultimately, we decided the features should be pandemic-themed, a collection of narratives and essays that both show how Johns Hopkins has risen to the occasion and provide a snapshot of this unprecedented moment in time. We also realized that sheltering in place left folks plenty of free time, so behold our summer reading section! Some original story ideas survived, including a profile on undergraduate Hollywood star Celeste O'Connor and an inside look at The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. But even those morphed some, all of our lives touched by the coronavirus.
We hope you like the mix. More importantly, stay hopeful and stay safe.
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