When UT leaders announced that the university was physically closing to stop the spread of COVID-19, students in the Social Justice/Photo Story class came face to face with a new challenge — how to photograph a pandemic. Many had already started working on social justice photo essays that were due after spring break, but new isolation rules made it impossible to continue with their original topics. They then turned their cameras inward and photographed what they saw in their own lives.
As they struggled to social distance, they captured what was happening in their world. A doctor waiting his coronavirus results, pets, bottles of wine, and a leaping ninja made compelling images that will serve as a documentary record of what the students experienced. A sole bus rider, empty shelves, and a lonely parking lot at a mosque remind us of the life that once was and will hopefully return in the future.