Measure Magazine, Vol. VII

When I walked across the stage at my high school graduation four years ago, I had no idea what the next four years would bring. I hadn’t met some of my closest friends yet. I hadn’t been given the opportunities that would shape my career goals. I hadn’t yet grown from the challenges that college brings. I certainly hadn’t imagined that before I stepped onto another graduation stage, I would have lived through a worldwide pandemic. It originated in a wet market in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province. The disease quickly spread through the Asian continent before hitching a ride on a traveler’s Samsonite on its way back to America. And now, it is everywhere and nowhere at once. SARS-CoV-2 has been found on every continent except Antarctica, infecting at least 3.5 million people, and thousands more that we don’t know about. Economies are crashing, cities are in lockdown, health care systems are struggling to hold it all together. City streets and trendy bars sit empty while hospitals are at max capacity. All 50 states have received a federal disaster declaration. All non-essential institutions are closed, and all calendars have been wiped clean of any events happening in the immediate future. COVID-19 has disrupted the flow of modern life on a scale akin to that of the second World War or the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Colleges have closed, devastating the class of 2020 in a way that is unimaginable. We have lost the last precious moments of our educational careers; the last performances and recitals, the last nights spent with friends, the last lec- tures with our favorite professors, and, in some cases, our commencement ceremonies. I spent the first few weeks of quarantine moving in and out of denial, going over the ups and downs of my time at Marist. After almost 20 years as a competitive dancer, I lost my final chance to perform onstage for my friends and family. Like so many of my peers, I had to move out of my campus apartment without getting to say goodbye to my closest friends, unsure of the next time we would see each other. I sat through my last college lecture without even realizing it. It’s like spending years watching a favorite TV series that suddenly stops airing just before the conclusion. Except this time you can’t just look up the ending or wait for it to reload; you’ll just never know what happened. The last quarter of our college career has vanished, and we will not be able to get it back. We can adapt and we can move on, but we can’t recover what we lost. Amidst the chaos, people have been stepping up to help their communities in unique ways. Fashion brands are halting operations to use their factories to produce supplies like face masks or hand sanitizer. Stuck in a countrywide lockdown, Italian citizens have been singing in one large chorus from their balconies over the empty cobblestone streets. Mother Earth has been given the chance to take a breath as damaging human activity is put on pause. People have found a new appreciation for the artists and creators who are keeping them engaged and entertained, and the essential workers who are ensuring that they are happy and healthy, during weeks of quarantine. I’ve begun to keep a list of what this experience has taught me. I don’t want to forget what I’ve learned over these weeks of being in isolation. I want to remember what I missed so that I don’t take it for granted when this is over. I can’t wait to hug a friend again, or visit my family. I miss the chatter that fills the walls in restaurants, the movement of people through the veins of the city, and the feeling of having something to work towards. I can’t wait to spend days on the beach feeling the sun on my skin, and nights in the city, listening to the taxicabs cut through the crowds. I want to have a reason to get up in the morning and get dressed. I want to remember what frightened me during this time, and what gave me comfort. I want to remember where I turned when everything became too overwhelming. And, most of all, I want to remember how it felt when the world suddenly stopped. Crises come and go, but once normalcy returns, no one can ever imagine a world in crisis again. It’s easy to forget how an entire life can change in seconds. The phrase, “Hindsight is 20/20,” has been uttered many times over the last few weeks as plans and routines fell to pieces. No one saw this coming; so how do we prepare to be blindsided? This pandemic has pushed the backdrop away from the world stage and shows the mess of wires and old papers hidden behind it. People are beginning to look beneath the distortion, and this pandemic has solidified their suspicions that our lifestyles are no longer sustainable. This volume challenges illusion, it challenges what is real. Our priorities have shifted, and there has been a profound change in the idea of necessity. In order to embrace the future after COVID-19, whatever that may look like, we must take these lessons and keep our eyes open to what is most important to us now.


The theme of this issue is vision, which has taken on an entirely new meaning during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. No one anticipated the scale of this situation, leaving much of the world feeling shocked and out of place. These next letters were written by students on how they are coping with this health crisis, and their thoughts on the effect of COVID-19 and what it means for our future. N | S 2020 will undoubtedly be known as the year of COVID-19. If you asked anyone in February 2020 what the most important part of this year would be for them, you never would have guessed their answer would be surviving a global pandemic; yet here we are, doing just that. The coronavirus came in like a whirlwind and has completely overthrown the routines in our lives. For me personally, the biggest struggle has been the closing of my horse barn. Exercising our horses was deemed non-essential by the state, which has left me and many others feeling extra powerless during this time. Riding is my way of dealing with things, and having it ripped away when I need it the most has been devastating. Marist College has shut its doors for the safety of its students and faculty, and decided to go completely online for the rest of the semester. This virus has completely disrupted our plan for the magazine, forcing us to get creative and rework much of the issue. Hosting photoshoots with outside models and photographers became impossible under the state’s orders barring face-to-face meetings. We also had an artist salon scheduled for the week the virus closed the school, but this in-person drawing event had to be cancelled. Despite it all, we have found wonderful adaptations that make for an extremely unique magazine. The salon was still hosted virtually, so artists were still able to participate from the safety of their homes. Taking inspiration from Vogue Italia, we used illustrations and collages for our editorials rather than photographed images, which in turn helped us make our goal of being a sustainable publication even more literal. Our teamwas able to stay true to our vision, without putting anyone’s health and safety in jeopardy. We truly hope you enjoy this issue of FM/AM, and it brings a little bit of joy into your life.





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