Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Javiera uses noise-cancelling headphones to zone out and read a book on her Kindle. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen.

A long time ago, I was surfing the internet and found a comic that caught my attention. The illustrations showed the life of a man from cradle to grave. Him being born, playing his first soccer game, getting married, buying a house, raising children, getting old, and finally, dying. The peculiarity of this comic was that each vignette showed, in varying degrees of importance, the presence of death, pictured as the classic Grim Reaper. In the final square, just before the man dies, we see him talk to the cloaked figure: “OK. I’m ready, now”.

Due to the COVID-19, most people’s lives have changed. Complete routines have shifted to fit the required social distancing policies imposed by authorities. Activities have been adapted to be done inside our homes. Home and office are difficult to distinguish. Friends are either a virtual concept, or memory.

And meanwhile, in the middle of all this, a figure has been present, watching us all along: the screen. Unceasingly, and even more than before the virus, the bright blue lights of our cell phones, computers and televisions have been there, sharing everything we do. With or without our consent, the screens have followed us endlessly since the day we were forced to stay inside. We, of course, have embraced them, just as the character from the comic does in the end.

The following images show the life in front of a screen of Javiera Horta, a journalist that moved to New York City less than 3 months ago to improve her English skills. In them, we see her in her East Harlem apartment going on with her life as normally as she can. She shares with her friends, participates in her classes, dances, plays videogames and reads books. Although, always in front of a screen.

Online classes. In the screen, three more classmates join from Japan, Turkey and Brooklyn. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

Online classes, just after workout. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

The light in her bathroom is not optimal, so she uses a cell phone camera as a mirror when putting make up. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

Javiera participates in a happy hour with her friends from Chile. The experience, evidently, is not the same. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

Even when she doesn’t have a formal job, she still collaborates with some companies in Chile. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

Javiera looks down to her laptop screen as she participates in a free dancing class through Instagram. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

Videogames are a new hobbie for her. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

Once in a while, Javiera goes up to her rooftop to get some sunlight and fresh air. This is one of the very few situations in which a screen is not present. Photo by Patricio Zenklussen

This is a project of  Lori Grinker’s  NYU graduate photojournalism class.


Tags


Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020

Dengue outbreak could be a greater threat than covid in Singapore

Yifan Yu July 8, 2020

Corporate bankruptcy: ‘A story that’s not going away’

Gaurav Sharma July 7, 2020

Beijing reopens as the second wave of coronavirus dies down

Hannah Zhang July 6, 2020

Masks or no masks?

Bohao Liu July 5, 2020

Varsity Flu

Madeline Gunderson July 3, 2020

Rail travel in China is popular during the pandemic and filled with safety measures

Bohao Liu July 3, 2020

Brazilian international student caught in US travel ban.

Marina Guimaraes July 3, 2020

MTA faces crisis following COVID shutdown

Daniel Girma July 2, 2020

Easter Market goes back to its roots

Kyla Milberger July 2, 2020

China’s Airline Industry Aims to Lure Back Passengers with Unlimited Flight Pass

Zishu Sherry Qin July 1, 2020

US corporate debt soars during coronavirus outbreak

Gaurav Sharma June 30, 2020

In Singapore, gay pride goes online

Yifan Yu June 29, 2020

The Hair Room reopens

Shiyu Xu June 29, 2020