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  • Writer's pictureHannah Bohrer

A World Turned Upside Down...

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

COVID-19, we joked about it before leaving for spring break. "Will we actually come back?" we said as we left our last class before a much-anticipated spring break. Then the email came, another week of relaxation and peace before all hell broke loose.

March 12 my last train ride to Philly. The train seemed normal for a Thursday afternoon but at the train station, I saw the first effects of the virus. Everything had been canceled and there was no one around. I walked through the station to the street and to my building to collect my things until we would return.

Stores closed, restaurants closed, hours were changed for the essential businesses. The schools closed and life went virtual. We weren't allowed to see people and to stand closer than 6ft. Everyone goes crazy buying all the cleaning products, food, and toilet paper.

Then my world changed...

My studio classes were put online and nothing was the same. A few of my classes were impossible to create for with my now very limited resources. But I've done online classes before this shouldn't be that hard.

My job closed. I worked on Thursday, it was a regular day at after school care. The kids were calm and they all played outside. Then my last student left and I went home as of every other night. The next morning I got the email that said the school was closed. It will only be for a few weeks I thought as I collected my last paycheck and some of my stuff.

A statewide stay at home order was issued by the governor. Now I start to take this seriously I try to settle into my new schedule as if it is all the same. I mean there were some perks, I didn't need to wake up as early. I don't waste so much time traveling back and forth to the city now and I can have more time to work on personal projects.

A week goes by... and now another

I break...

I cried today for the first time, realizing all that has changed. What was the point of going to my classes? My projects wouldn't turn out how I wanted them too. They wouldn't help me grow my portfolio. What was the point of putting effort into my classes they made everything pass-fail any way... I can force myself to work a pointless task but only for so long.

I got a new job. It a helpful distraction in this time of chaos. It is rewarding to be able to complete a meaningful task. My old job ripped my heart out. 5 years I worked at the school and spent those years with many of the same kids. Goodbyes are the hardest thing for me. With the school year coming to a close sadness grew in my heart because I knew that this was my last year. Because of my school and path, I need to take with my career. This cut was the most painful of all.

My anxiety is triggered by change and the feeling of not being in control. This entire time has left me spiraling for weeks now. I feel angry, I feel sad, and I feel lost...

Everything has changed...

To help myself cope with the changes in the world I created. These self-portraits are a representation of what I have been feeling. Through this whole process of having every aspect of my life changed, there are pieces missing. I chose puzzle pieces because of the unknown that encompasses our world. Some of the pieces are physically adhered to the surface of the images to represent the new rules and regulations that have been ordered. Each of these has made me feel trapped. I feel like I can't see what is really going on because of all of the contradicting media. Other pieces have been scratched out to represent the way the certain pieces of myself are now missing. The second image has a slightly different meaning. I'm frustrated, I'm content, I'm anxious, I'm sad, I'm angry, I'm at peace, I'm hopeful, I'm puzzled, I'm lost... This spinning of emotion constantly goes through my mind as I think about the effects of the virus. The scratches above my head represent these confused and mixed up emotions. I have found it difficult to organize the emotions and even to deal with them. I feel like I'm unable to talk about my emotions even before this whole pandemic but I was able to release them through other avenues. But since the world has changed these have been cut off. I have found a new way of dealing with them through my passion for photography.

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