Two to fourteen days. That is all the virus is supposed to live for, but the inability to stop our fast pace capitalist society from going keeps the COVID-19 going. Small businesses hurting, stock market crashing, unemployment rate increasing, people social-distancing, colleges closing. Not just the nation, but the world is having to learn new ways to live their day to day lives. The digital age has taken a whole new level of meaning. Every person is affected by the coronavirus in different ways. Rising Rock, a group of students from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga seek to tell their stories on how this pandemic shapes their experience, and what this extraordinary moment in history looks like from their perspectives.
A New Normal: A Quarantine Commentary is a creative and documentative project by the students of Rising Rock. Step foot into the perspective of college students as they share what their world now looks like in this rapidly changing society because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to click on individual stories.
By clicking one of the names below, you’ll see a glimpse of how this global pandemic has now shaped each of our lives.
“As the days blur together and the heavy weight of isolation builds, it’s easy to dwell on the negative emotions brought out by the current situation: boredom, loneliness, depression. These emotions are certainly overwhelming at times but there’s also a brighter side to this too.
I’ve recently realized that the pandemic has also brought at least one positive outcome during this strange time; the opportunity to spend time with one of my favorite people in the world, my little sister Waverly.”
To continue viewing more of this post, visit A New Normal by Elian Richter.
Moise Babptiste has always been focused on helping young adults succeed. Once the executive director of student affairs for UTC, Dr. Babptiste now leads a trail running group called Wakandan Trailblazers (WTB).
The St. Andrews Center is a multicultural hub providing space for creatives of all kinds, whose passions are found in art and cultivating community. Terry Davis, the St. Andrews center Building manager, figured out how to lease the space for an affordable price offering artists an opportunity to continue creating and expand their community with surrounding tenets.
In 2009, the Chattanooga Aerials opened the first aerial studio in the area. It was opened in order to put on performances and teach the art of aerial dancing to the community. Amy Powell is the founder of this studio, but passed it down to Jen Keehn after owning and operating it for about four years. The Chattanooga Aerials studio teaches classes on silks, trapeze, aerial cubes, aerial ladders, lyra aerial hoops, bungees and many other pieces. They teach beginner levels to pro levels at their studio nearly every single day of the week.
In a world where visual cues are key to interaction and accessibility, some people have to do without it. Adam Hixson, a 42-year-old Tennessee native, is all too familiar with this issue. When Hixson was 32 years old, his optometrist told him that he had about a year until he would lose one-hundred percent of his vision. Hixson was understandably confused, frustrated and scared. When asked what he misses the most about having his vision, Hixson stated, “Used to, when I could drive, if I wanted to go somewhere, I got in the car and went, I didn’t rely on other people. Since I went blind, I have to rely on everybody to get places.”
Kaitlyn Evans-Witzel is a 22-year-old photographer and new mother. She manages her own photography business known as Vintage Kaitlyn Photography where she focuses on weddings, elopements, and portraits while also balancing the life of motherhood. She has always had a love for the 1970s and country music. Johnny Cash is among her favorites. She incorporates these vintage styles into her photographs and further into her lifestyle.