Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

February 13, 2021

Kayla Riggs
Janessa Caroza

Frontline workers covered in personal protective equipment, patients on ventilators, and people roaming the streets in masks. I think we can all agree that 2020 was an eventful and trying year. It brought us through some of the most difficult moments of our lives, but also some of the most defining. Through it all, even when we were quarantined, photography played a major role in documenting the pandemic. 

When COVID-19 first came to the United States, we all thought that we would spend two weeks at home and soon our lives would be back to normal; we even celebrated the time off from school. Then those two weeks slowly stretched into two months, two months into six–before we knew it, 2020 was gone, but the pandemic was here to stay. So how, during all that time indoors, did we transition from thinking COVID-19 was “no big deal” to realizing the true gravity of the situation? The short answer: photography. Turning on the morning news to see overwhelming images of patients fighting for their lives, families saying goodbye over FaceTime, and cemeteries full of victims of the pandemic, made the situation all too real. These photos are what made us think “that could be me–or someone–I love, next;” they made us realize that to survive COVID-19, we have to take the regulations seriously. We need to wear masks and socially distance. Photography gave us the opportunity to view the world from a new perspective, put everything back into focus, and prove that a picture really is worth a thousand words.

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