Hindsight Is 2020

Covid-19 USNS Comfort hospital ship arrives in NYC. ©Alina Oswald.

And other lessons learned from this Covid-19 year

Hindsight might be 20/20, and yet, through the Covid lens, it’s more like 2020. Plagued by multiple, multi-layered crises, this year has provided us with indispensable lessons in and about life, as one of those defining moments that divide our world, our life into a before and an after, presenting us with new perspectives and possibilities.

Just think about it:

Nature desperately needed a break from us, and the Covid-19 quarantines provided just that.

Sundial and NYC Skyline
Sun dial measuring time on a deserted Jersey City waterfront, with Manhattan glass buildings as a backdrop. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

We desperately needed a moment to pause and reflect on our lives, a chance to adjust or right the course of our journeys through life or perhaps a reminder of the reality of life, and the coronavirus pandemic offered us just that.

Flag poles and Lady Liberty seen from Liberty State Park
Life during Covid-19. Liberty State Park in black and white, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

The pandemic also unveiled the good in some people and the evil in so many others. In time, we might forgive, but not forget who gave a damn and who did not.

Verrazzano Bridge in black and white
Life during Covid-19. Verrazzano Bridge and lighthouse in black and white. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Covid has devastated our lives in so many ways and on so many levels. The pandemic has shredded into pieces the hope, courage, desires, and livelihoods of so many of us. It has caused suffering and death in each and every layer of our lives. And though throughout this ordeal some of us have called ourselves lucky or luckier than others, none of us will come out of it unharmed. We’re all bruised, mostly mentally, physically, too. Yes, time will heal wounds and bruises, but I bet that more bruises, especially mental ones, will appear in time, too. With the vaccines becoming available, there is light at the end of this coronavirus tunnel, but the end is nowhere in sight, not yet, not for many of us.

Covid-19 USNS Comfort hospital ship arrives in NYC.
Life during Covid-19. Comfort reaches New York at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Many people have used the challenges of this year to do some good or as sources of inspiration for creative or documentary work. Because of that, future generations will be able to learn about this coronavirus pandemic and what took place during this dark time.

This year I’ve tried to use this blog to tell at least part of my Covid-19 experience. It has helped keep me quasi-sane throughout this year.

I’ve used the time to adjust to the new normal, ponder upon my life, regroup and even start working on several projects.

Hoboken NJ Skyline and Terminal
Reflections. Hoboken, NJ, and Midtown Manhattan skylines. #tbt ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

And there was some loss, too, absolute or in certain aspects of life….

Hoboken, NJ skyline
Jersey City and Hoboken, NJ skyline. #tbt #shotoniphone @Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Note: I took this image several years ago when showing friends the Jersey side of the Hudson River. This year we lost one of those friends, not to Covid. RIP C.

Also, this year I’ve been interviewed about photography, in particular photographing the LGBTQ+ community, as well as about pandemic-inspired art and the two pandemics I’ve covered so far (HIV/AIDS and this year coronavirus/Covid-19); and had some of my corona-inspired work included in Covid archives, as well as winning awards.

Also, this past week I revisited my old Flickr account. (Many thanks to FlakPhoto for reminding me about Flickr!)

Covid-19 Holiday season 2020 on Jersey City waterfront

I used to be quite active on Flickr many years ago, but not anymore…until very recently. I do think it makes sense to revisit it now. I also downloaded the Flickr app to upload, post, and then share images from my iPhone and/or iPad. I’ll see how it goes and keep everybody posted.

Until then I wish everybody safe, gentle, and kind holidays, a Happy New Year, and, as always, many thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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