In March, it will be four years since the world shut down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Reflections on the Pandemic: Covid and Social Crises in the Year Everything Changed, out now, stories of personal experience and scholarly expertise shine light on the intricacies of 2020.
The collection of essays, poetry and artwork, published by Rutgers University Press, features the diverse perspectives of the Rutgers community, including scholars, staff, students, alumni, and even president Jonathan Holloway, whose piece “Reflections in a Covid Photograph” opens the collection. Though these reflections belong to a specific hub of voices, global relatability and familiarity can be found within the pieces, which are presented in a general timeline of the pandemic.
Editor Teresa Politano, an award-winning writer, editor and professor at Rutgers (as well as a NJM contributor) says in the preface that the school was a leader in conducting research on the virus. As the state’s premier research university, Rutgers established the Center for Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness in late March 2020, where various important developments took place, including studies, vaccine trials and the creation of contact-tracing strategies. Rutgers was also the first major university in the United States to require students to be vaccinated.
Reflections on the Pandemic covers a range of topics that were relevant to the pandemic, including science, health, racial injustice, environmental issues, politics, relationships, mortality and more.