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Publishing During a Pandemic

BY MADISON SALYER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Living through an era of uncertainty and change has presented most of us with challenges. Plans didn’t happen as expected, but we were forced to persist. This time period will be remembered in history and those of us living through it will be remembered for our strength and creativity, even in isolation.

Back in February, I remember feeling so overwhelmed. There were so many opportunities and such little time. All I wanted was a break, a moment to collect myself. Organize. Relax. Work on my photography. Then came March, and the whole world just stopped. I suddenly had nowhere to be and nowhere to go. The whole country was asked to stay home, and this seemed like the break I had been asking for. 

For a minute, I was relieved, but as time kept passing I found myself wasting time on social media and Netflix. I asked myself, how could I possibly waste this time? The world had finally slowed down, yet I still couldn’t find the motivation to do anything. The world seemed to be getting worse and then so did my anxiety. I nagged at myself every day for mindlessly scrolling on my phone, it almost became an addiction.This routine seemed toxic and things were not getting better.

Here we are almost five months later, an entire summer has almost come and gone and life still seems confusing and uncertain. Although I have not mastered my craft like I had imagined doing in quarantine, I am learning how to navigate my own mind during these unprecedented times. To me, that’s all we can do right now. 

As we all learn new ways to navigate the world, Variant Magazine is finding innovative ways to represent the growth within our society. During quarantine, Variant has interviewed and hired a new executive board, held online meetings via Zoom, planned its first ever summer issue, created a new logo, designed merchandise, rebranded and came together as a stronger team.

Not one human is the same though, and we take value in that here at Variant. As young creatives, we are always trying to learn and improve. We have been forced to improvise. We took on a challenge as a group to use this time to come together better than ever before. 

During quarantine, Variant has grown a lot. Thanks to our web editor, Grace Dearing, we now have an updated website and a weekly newsletter sent out via email. In an attempt to educate and inform, copy chief Ellie Roberto launched “The Edge,” a curation of the latest news stories uploaded to our social media pages every Friday.

Jordan Schmitt, our head of social media, has stayed on top of putting out relevant content multiple times a week. These are just a few things our Executive team has done to Evolve. Thanks to Zoom and Slack we have also been able to stay in contact and create an entire issue remotely. 

In this issue, Grace Dearing researches and explains how astrology can be used as a guide to find comfort during unprecedented time. Executive editor Jonathan Pierron shares his take on masks as fashion statements. For the first time ever Collin Black and Sophia Munoz submitted videos to be included in the issue.

From one creative to another, I encourage you to take this time to reflect back into yourself. Treat yourself with love and patience. You deserve that. No one has the answers right now, but if we all use this time to work on ourselves I have hope that we will become a stronger country.  

I hope to be reunited in the fall, but if not, we will evolve marvelously. Like we always do.

Stay safe and take care of yourself.

XO

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