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EMPTINESS What is empty and what remains during COVID-19

1) On my morning runs, I pretty much always go by the donut shop. Every time I’ve passed it, there’s at least five people inside and two outside enjoying a sugary, sweet donut. On my run today there was no one, and I doubt there will be for a while. 2) Meiners Oaks is a small town, but I’m constantly surprised to see how many people flood into the doors of Greater Goods. With open doors and open arms, they greet anyone who comes inside. But not today. Bella Slosberg
I know that things aren't normal, but in a way they are. You're used to isolation on a ranch. You're used to looking out and seeing no one. The lemon and avocado trees act as a buffer between you and the outside world, both physically and mentally. I'm fortunate, because if I feel cabin fever start to creep in I can get up and walk for miles around the orchards, and it feels like everything is okay. But I know that that isn't true. Sebastian Wayman-Dalo
1) 6:50 am and I can hear the tv playing. It’s already on the news. Maybe that’s why my dreams have been so flooded lately; so interrupted. The concept of time is skewed. It seems as if everything is at a standstill. Even the dogs have noticed the absence of something that isn’t there, something that is too still outside. 2) There he was. There we were. Somehow the car is the only safe place. Somehow the waves fuel the hysteria. Suddenly the beach is untouchable, too far. You know, nothing feels the same through a car window. Megan Manion
Oh how I miss this place. It’s essentially been my second home for more years than I can remember. My classroom is especially silent these days, devoid of the controlled chaos of college essay writing and the sublime contributions of a rowdy, opinionated and superb group of student journalists. I’m holding onto hope that we will soon be together again. Fred Alvarez
1) A once bustling strip mall, a staple of Newbury Park, now completely empty at peak dinner hours. 2) The eerily silent 101 freeway near Thousand Oaks feels like late night driving, despite it being rush hour. Aaron Wolf
1) On a typical weekday, the Ojai skatepark would be filled with men and women who enjoy the grit and persistence of the sport. But today, the park is left empty and is closed due to the persistence of the coronavirus. 2) Another public space closed due to COVID-19. Libbey Park, located across the street from the arcade. Where children play and are able to be free for a few moments in their day, the virus kills their ability to enjoy another space that the community of Ojai provides us with. Olivia Brown
1) Six Flags: A mountain typically teeming is now eerily silent. 2) 3rd Street promenade: a center for tourism ground to a halt. Adam Pepper-Macias
The main street in Daejeon, where there are malls, theatres, restaurants... On weekends the street is supposed to be crowded with people; however, people could be barely spotted. The government is recommending that people stay in their house unless for special occasions. Stores and restaurants are shutting down temporarily or permanently to stop the spread of disease and lack of customers. James Choi

Credits:

Megan Manion