On March 19, 2020, Eastern Washington University closed its buildings to the public. While the JFK Memorial Library opened its doors to staff by June and its lobby to students in November, parts of the library remain a time capsule from the date the library originally closed its doors. Issues of the March 11, 2020 Easterner remain in the study lounge. To date, this is the last paper issue of the student newspaper. The PLUS and Writing Center walls contain old staff photos, the signage on the Archives Reading room is curled from age and the humidity from the building sanitization in Spring 2020. The image of the March PLUS student of the month and the Multimedia Center were taken in September 2020. Eventually, these parts of the library will open, too, but until then, it’s a ghost from the pre-pandemic past.
Michael T. Nelson
Surreal. Disconcerting. But most of all--lonely. Riding a bus to and back from Cheney, a bus so often overcrowded it was difficult to find room to stand--had suddenly, and with a quiet severity, transformed into a reminder of the fragility of society, and how quickly, the daily norms and what can be expected, unravels.
James W. Rosenzweig
I wanted to share this image to capture what now feels like a forgotten moment in the pandemic -- for the first few days of statewide lockdown, I had taken my daughter to this playground at her elementary school in Cheney, since playing outside was about the only safe thing we knew to do. But then an order was issued to close playgrounds out of fear of the spread of covid-19, so this is a picture taken on March 23 -- you can see not only the big sign, but the faint yellow caution tape that's wrapped around all of the playground equipment. There was something very chilling about it -- at the time it seemed ominous but no one was sure yet how bad things would get. And now, with the playgrounds having been open for many months (though we wear a mask and hand sanitize, etc.), this picture feels more like a dream I had than like a memory.