NGUYEN | My Platonic Awakening

But, the optimist in me as loud — and I’m doing my best to listen. If the pandemic taught me to value platonic touch, maybe post-pandemic life will watch me put that lesson into practice. Once it’s safe, and with respect to my friends’ personal boundaries, I’m excited to rewrite my approach to social interactions. To give hugs and hold hands, to link arms and lean on shoulders. To fill my moments with the warmth of physical touch. To embrace the people I love with the new language I’ve learned to love with.

‘Jungle’ Needs Evolve, Outreach Lessens as Summer Continues

Each summer, extreme heat and weather present Ithaca’s unhoused population with a host of challenges. As outreach organizations transition back to more normal operations this summer amid improving pandemic conditions, new obstacles have reared themselves — for both the organizations and those they serve.

Curating a Summer Reading List

If you, like me, are looking forward to some reading this summer, let’s embark on this ill-fated journey together. Will we achieve our reading goals? Almost certainly not. Will we still enjoy the act of resistance that is leisure in a society that values only productivity? We must — or perish.

SONG | Witnessing the Pandemic Across 18 States

In some ways, traveling across the country was exactly how I pictured it would be: a black Jeep rumbling from the coasts of Florida to the vineyards of California, long nights fueled by Slim Jims and one dinky motel after another. But on this particular trip, there were also floor-to-ceiling face shields in hotel lobbies, prairies swarming with wildlife in the absence of humans and long lines for lottery tickets to enter national parks. I began my journey on March 28 in a passenger seat next to my boyfriend, eating our last CTB sandwiches as we veered onto the freeway. Over the span of 18 states, 5,500 miles and four weeks on the road, we would witness COVID-19 evolve from its first beginnings to a country-wide pandemic, manifested in distinct ways from one state to another. But as we rushed out of Cornell that evening, we knew only a few basic facts: We had grandparents residing in both of our homes, and we needed to avoid flights at all costs.