Daily Sociology Diary: An Essay on Pandemic Photos

Daily Sociology Diary: An Essay on Pandemic Photos
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Todd Schoepflin

If you look at the photos on your phone, what do they reveal about your experience during the pandemic? What memories stand out in your photos? So much has happened in our lives and in society over the last few years. By reviewing my photos, I can understand what we’ve been through.

I took this first photo in 2020. on March 17, at a stop at a liquor store. This sign reminds me that we didn’t know exactly what was waiting for us, and the pandemics were early enough that we could illuminate suddenly hard-to-reach items such as toilet paper.

Figure 1

Another photo was taken in 2020. At the end of March. I was hoping to shoot hoops to exercise, but it was an indication that we would not be able to do our normal activities and would be deterred from gathering in public.

Figure 2

2020 April 1 At the Buffalo Nature Reserve, a bird flew into my son’s hand, attracting the bird with seed. We were used to walking with our families even before the pandemic, but in 2020. the number of our hikes and walks increased significantly in the spring.

Figure 3

2020 cinemas were closed at the end of april and we already had a sign of quarantine fatigue.

Figure 4

The next picture is an example of my 9-year-old pandemic life on a school assignment.

Figure 5

Sunset in Erie, Pennsylvania, after a day at the beach, 2020 At the end of July. We spent the day in Presque Isle – a place where we visit to sunbathe once a year. A good day at the beach gave us a temporary sense of normalcy.

Figure 6

I saw this sign posted at Buffalo in 2021. month of January. Economic hardship was a feature of the pandemic. It reminds me of the title of an article by sociologist Matthew Desmond: “Rent eats first, even during a pandemic.”

Figure 7

It was my job from home space. Since there is no home office, the best place to build a table with good lighting was in the bedroom. In the 2020-2021 school year, I worked from home. For most of the school year, my children were in the hallway in their bedrooms and attending school remotely. I took this photo in 2021. in May. I taught lessons using Google Meet. At the time of the academic year, most students attended without a camera. I realized there are many reasons why students may not want to have cameras. My students coped well with the transition to distance learning. However, it was difficult to create class chemistry through the screen. This academic year, I will teach both of our semesters in person. It was a pleasure to return to the traditional class, although the masks were a different kind of challenge. When faces are covered, it is more difficult to understand what students think and how they react to what is being discussed. You miss their smiles. It’s hard to hear each other, and some of us experience what I call a “sweaty face.”

Figure 8

Another photo was taken in 2021. at the end of May when we visited Pittsburgh with my family. As we walked around the city, we discovered this fresco. That was one year after George Floyd was assassinated. 2020 I recommend this article by sociologist Dan Fisher for an analysis of the protests that took place in the summer.

Figure 9

I took this photo in the grocery store parking lot in 2021. in September. To belittle, this person is neither a fan of President Biden nor Dr. Fauci. At the beginning of the pandemic, sociologist Eric Klinenberg wrote: “The question is open, do Americans have enough social solidarity to avoid the worst chances of a coronavirus pandemic. There are many reasons to be skeptical. We are politically divided, socially divided, we are skeptical of each other’s key facts and news sources. His skepticism was justified.

Figure 10

A few days before 2021. Thanksgiving, I spent the afternoon on the restaurant terrace with my brother and two of our friends. This day meant a lot to me because it was the first time I had seen my friend Ron in almost two years. The last time I was with him was in 2020. in January in New York, where he lives when the word “coronavirus” was not yet in my dictionary.

Figure 11

I couldn’t believe how many people stopped chatting with us on the way to and from the restaurant. People were fascinated by this dog that belongs to my other friend that day. Lots of people expressed how they like the dog and talked to us. It reminds me, as Peter Kaufman once wrote, that dogs help people be more social with each other, and we can learn a lot from dogs!

Figure 12

The last photo taken was on Sunday, 2021. Christmas when I enjoyed a day with the family at the Buffalo Bills game. As I wrote in a previous post, attending games with friends and family distracts me from thinking and worrying about the pandemic. It fits that my last photo is of my family. I am grateful that we have to trust each other in good times and bad. I think a lot about how we will look back and remember this time in our lives.

Photos with the consent of the author

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