Most of us remember, all too well, the “two-week break” that began in mid-March, 2020. Two weeks quickly became two months, and now two years. The convenient, new “COVID-19 stories” tab on our website now features eight pages of our headlines. And our pact to avoid coronavirus-centered magazines has failed — again.

As we, journalists, have navigated this seemingly endless pandemic, we have aimed to uncover stories beyond the “unprecedented situation” storylines so prevalent in today’s media. In this issue, we attempt to tackle the virus’ more long-term impacts — now including mass desensitization, changes to workplace-absence culture and teen drug use.

Our cover story for this issue, “Infectious indifference,” explores our increasing disregard for the coronavirus. Graphic Designer Esther Xu and Features Editor Dominique Lashley skillfully explore the virus that has been at the front (and may now be at the back) of our minds for the past two years.

In “Testing positive,” Photography Director Ines Legrand and Webmaster Annum Hashmi explore the impacts of, you guessed it, testing positive — and how a culture centered around academic success and incessant productivity leaves students with a surprisingly difficult choice between staying safe at home, and going to school to keep up with their classmates. 


We’ve fumbled and fallen more than we ever succeeded, but watching our writers play long games of “name that tune” during production and form new friendships fills us with pride and love.


The continued presence of the coronavirus — and the restrictions and isolations that accompany it — have also allowed many of us to reflect on ourselves and our identities in new ways. Our perspectives section this issue features many of our writers’ contemplations on their relationships with their culture, including Design Editor Sofia Antebi’s mended relationship with her Vietnamese roots (“Title”), staff writer Palina Kuzmina’s heartbreaking reconciliation with the loss of her homeland (“Losing home”) and Social Media Manager Ajin Jeong’s poignant recollections of Korean New Year celebrations (“Seol”). 

We too, have reflected — not only about ourselves, but about Verde, and where we have guided this publication in the past 10 months. Many of the voices we have highlighted have been those that were previously silenced, and our coverage, though profoundly imperfect, has brought awareness to issues from unofficial laning to unethical hiring practices. We’ve fumbled and fallen more than we ever succeeded, but watching our writers play long games of “name that tune” during production and form new friendships fills us with pride and love. Verde truly feels like a community of writers, thinkers and friends. And as we leave you, our readers, with our penultimate issue as editors-in-chief, we hope you appreciate the stories this community has chosen to highlight.

On the cover

A sea of unmasked faces surrounds a single masked figure, a stark visual representation of the crowded settings and caution-free activities that have become increasingly common recently. Art Director Blair Migdal illustrates our community’s growing desensitization to the coronavirus — though the disease continues to spread more rapidly than ever before, our anxiety surrounding its impacts is a fraction of what it was a year ago.

Find the full PDF of our magazine on Issuu.