What the Pandemic Means for the Rest of Our Lives

North, South, East West by Michael Heizer at DIA: Beacon. Photo by author.

This is the second entry examining responses to a survey in 730DC asking readers about their experience of the pandemic. This entry focuses less on reopening and more on the personal experience of the pandemic and its meaning. Read the first entry here.

It is hard to think about a way to write about what the pandemic has done to those of us who survive without feeling as if it might be an insult to those who did not. So let’s start there: This viral scourge leaves Washington numbering 1,141 fewer as of July 4, 2021.

Given the yearlong anxiety…

How are Washingtonians adjusting to life in a new phase of the pandemic?

A party at the Smithsonian in 2017. Photo by author.

This post covers the more direct questions about how Washingtonians are handling reopening. A second post reflects on questions about the social, psychological, economic and political experience of the pandemic.

Even before the pandemic, our personal and social lives increasingly took place online. This was arguably the defining characteristic of the years we’ve lived in. And then we took our work and our education (Zoom, Teams, Slack), even our play (JackBox, Among Us) into virtual spaces.

The pandemic poured jet fuel on this and other aspects of modern life I already felt ambivalent about. Inequality accelerated as the rich retreated…

How are area artists able to share their art while they can’t share space with clients?

Painting by Christine Ruksenas-Burton. Photo by Chris Mills & Jason Hamacher

Artists are supposed to be part of Richard Florida’s so-called “creative class,” a glamorous turn of phrase that perhaps masks just how onerous it is to create art in the neoliberal city. Creatives would have a leg up on the rest of the world when it came to economic improvisation during a pandemic — they’re paid to be creative, right?

It’s true. Artists are used to the hustle, whether they want to be or not. Not that it was ever easy for artists to be compensated for their labor, which is necessarily speculative — is this anything? Even the rich…

Trailer for The Falconer on Vimeo.

This February, I read H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald’s moving memoir of death, depression and falconry. When I look back at my Kindle highlights for the book, they’re mostly esoteric words, loaned down through history by the practitioners of this medieval, even ancient art: clap (lower beak), pinion (outer wing), austringer (falconer), tiercel (male falcon), falcon (female falcon, and the larger, too). But I learned, too, “the danger that comes in mistaking the wildness we give a thing for the wildness that animates it.” …

There’s a line I’ve used in parties and interviews to express why we do 730DC: “I’m convinced that if even one person who reads our newsletter decides to turn off Netflix, get up off their couch, go outside and out onto the street — to play pickup basketball, meet a friend for dinner, attend a concert or talk or just to walk amongst other people — our newsletter has been a success for that day.”

Half our newsletter has always been dedicated to listing things to do, out in the world, with other people — exactly the kinds of things…

An interview with Dr. Katie Wells, the Georgetown researcher following Uber drivers and lobbyists in DC

Image: uber

When I moved to DC in 2013, the sharing economy was already a thing. The year I graduated from college (2011–2012) our campus obtained a few Zipcars; in the postgraduate year I spent living at home in the suburbs and working in San Francisco (2012–2013) I fist-pounded a few Lyft drivers, who still sported fuzzy pink mustaches across their grilles. …

Publishing in a Plague Year

These pieces are made possible by our Patreon supporters. We hope you’ll consider joining them.

We published original reporting, interviews, essays and service journalism

Flickr/All-Pro Reels.

Update 2/22/21: The Nationals broadly followed this formula, adding Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell to bolster the middle of the lineup, both moves I like. Jon Lester was added to the rotation and Brad Hand is here to close. The team remains broadly excellent in its top half and mediocre in its bottom half.

Didn’t the Nationals win the last legit World Series? Isn’t our team still in the middle of a franchise-altering mini-dynasty that began when Stephen Strasburg first blessed our mound?

Kind-of, to number one. Maybe not, to number two.

Our stars still shine brightly, starting with young…

The Wilson Building. Flickr/David Gaines

It’s that time again. And it’s really past time for us to publish this guide, given the circumstances: Unprecedented numbers of Washingtonians are voting by mail, and many of you have cast your ballots already. For those of you who procrastinate like me, we hope this guide will help you out.

Three notes before we dive in:

  1. This is not a guide on how to access the ballot. For that, use the DC Board of Elections, where you can check your voter status; the Post, who advise on how to vote early; DCist, where you can find ballot drop boxes

Flickr/Lars Plougmann

Starting in the early summer, we started to see uncharacteristic numbers of unsubscribes from our newsletter.

At first I thought it was just people who were over the news. Every new morning in 2020 means waking to some fresh horror, and sometimes we have to be the messengers of that horror. I wasn’t taking it personally. But over time, I started to suspect another dynamic was at play. Lots of people were leaving DC.

There were lots of possible reasons for this, but they generally fell into two camps. There were moves of choice, ranging from a mistaken belief that…

Hayden Higgins

here goes nothing. hype @worldresources. about town @730_DC. links ninja @themorningnews. feisty @dcdivest.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store