In early March, Brooklyn documentary editor Eric Maierson knew he was about to get laid off from a film he was editing because of the spread of covid-19. He felt an immense sense of doom and helplessness. “I needed a way to stay connected to others — and just as important, to believe in the possibility that life would one day return to what it had once been,” he says.
With his friend Julie Elman, a professor at the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University, he started an Instagram account, @when_this_is_over. “We jumped at the chance to work together on something that could help pull us out of the paralysis we both felt as the pandemic became a reality and hit us full tilt,” Elman says.
The account is a collection of images that helps others remember the aspects of life they will love again after the pandemic is over. Artists, photographers and students have contributed.
“I doubt things will ever really be the same,” Maierson says. “But the project has given me an enormous sense of connection with both friends and people I’ve never met. It’s shown me how kind and generous most people are in times of crisis. I’m hopeful we can bring some of that tenderness back with us when we return from self-isolation.” “Looking at everyone’s posts on a daily basis,” Elman says, “has helped me realize that we’re all in this together.”
“All of my notifications are disappointment and bad news — I’m hoping once this is over we won’t be bombarded by negativity.”
Fluellen is a student at Ohio University.
“When this is over ... our house will be super clean. My hair will be really, really gray. My banjo playing will be MUCH improved. Our dogs will be spoiled and will always want us to stay home.”
Elman is a professor at Ohio University.
Megan Hillman Donovan
“All of my family’s in Ohio, and I’m in Colorado. So I can’t wait till I can safely travel and see them.”
Donovan is a designer in Boulder, Colo.
“When this is over, I will better appreciate the luxury of simplicity.”
Morris is a designer in New Jersey.
“When it is over — we will celebrate!!! And I will play with my friends.”
Delia, 8, is a student in the District.
“I will go out and return home to my Rose and Amy without fear that I may be carrying something that can hurt them.”
Capozziello is a photographer in Hartford, Conn.
“Me and the misses are heading south to Antarctica.”
Maierson is a video editor and producer in Brooklyn.
“When this is over, I will find someone to hold hands with.”
Didyk is an artist and writer in Great Barrington, Mass.
I will “go out dancing with friends.”
Wagner is a photographer in Brooklyn.
Richard Koci Hernandez
“When this is over ... into the light we will live again.”
Hernandez is a storyteller and photographer in Berkeley, Calif.