essays

life goes on

A summer like no other…


The conclusion of summer signified the end of a tumultuous period in Los Angeles. The city experienced a second shutdown and a surge of Covid-19 cases that dwarfed the initial springtime outbreak. Things got really bad over the summer but they also settled into a new status quo. The pervasive cloud of fear that the streets were captive to began to fade, as residents tried to adjust to the new reality. Despite the debate raging in some parts of the country, masks have largely become the norm and social distancing is second nature in most settings. Life has changed a great deal but some aspects of daily life are starting to return.

Activity has returned to streets that were deserted at the beginning of the pandemic. Mask wearing vendors and their customers have brought life back to many neighborhoods throughout the city. Striking a balance between safety and daily life is a work in progress but so far it seems that one is emerging. There will doubtlessly be setbacks as we all work to contain Covid-19 and much of the damage, both economic and psychological, has yet to be seen. The entire country is in the middle of an unprecedented collective trauma. Documenting the response to it from street level has been surreal and informative.

Things are never going to be like they were before the pandemic. There has simply been too much lost to ever return completely. From boarded up restaurants and shops to the necessary restrictions indoors activities, there is just no way that world is coming back. What comes next is still unknown but clues to the way forward lie in the resilience found daily on the streets of Los Angeles.