The New Normal: Coping in Isolation

Hannah Saad | @hannah_saad21, Photo Editor

The New Normal Project is a collection of photo series shot by UA student photographers that highlights how their perception of what is “normal” has changed during the year 2020. Each photo series focuses on one aspect of a photographer’s life that has changed during the past few months, ranging from representing their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic tackling social justice issues to looking at how life on campus has changed. All of the photo series will be accompanied by a statement from the photographer about their work. If you are interested in contributing to The Crimson White’s New Normal Project, please reach out to our photo editor, Hannah Saad, at [email protected]

My couch became my home these past few months. Self-isolation is full of monotony, and it took me a while to adjust to not having anywhere to go for weeks on end. I was stuck in my apartment, and I was stuck in a creative rut. For two months, having online Zoom classes was one of my only ways I connected with other people. I was frazzled; I felt that I had to do something while I was holed up. I had to be productive, though I didn’t know how. I didn’t want to waste time, but I had no direction of what to do. My photo gear sat untouched for months; people weren’t out doing stuff in the community, so I didn’t have anything to go out and take photos of. What ultimately helped me was dedicating myself to accomplishing one thing per day: sewing a mask, creating a graphic in Photoshop and applying for jobs and internships just to name a few. It’s no complete substitute for going out and seeing friends I haven’t been able to see in months, but using my time alone to work on myself and improve my skills and livelihood means that self-isolation isn’t a total lost cause.