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Our Pandemic Life

In this five part weekly series, Shawn Vestal contemplates life during the pandemic, with short films and still photography by Brian Plonka.

Our Pandemic Life: The most dreadful year drags on

Calpurnia pleaded with Caesar not to go to the Senate on that fateful March day.

Our Pandemic Society: The mask is vital, but it also hides us from each other

In the second installment of this series of highly personal essays by photojournalist Brian Plonka and columnist Shawn Vestal, we consider the mask, and what it tells us about the person wearing it.

Our Pandemic Society: Distance is necessary, but it's also a true burden

It starts with the standard 6 feet and grows to include distances impossible to measure.

Our Pandemic Society: An unseen adversary, dwelling in the very air we breathe

It thrives inside of us, miniscule and hidden, and travels to others on invisible pathways.

Shawn Vestal: Our pandemic response balances the tension between the cowboy and the community

In September 1918, a flu pandemic arrived in Philadelphia.