One thing I've missed, though, is getting out and about to report stories in person. The last story I did shoe-leather work for was a piece abouthow the pandemic hurt Chinatownsacross the world first. A few months later, when the shutdowns began to ease, I helped report another restaurant story aboutthe difficulties of reopening eateries. I also drove to Rhode Island for a story about how drive-in cinemas are more popular than ever, not just for movies but as concert venues. (Meanwhile, the future of cinema-going remains uncertain.)
But my first proper get-out-of-the-home office story was a look at how street artists have responded to the protests in the wake of George Floyd's death. The story profiles five artists across the US and I got to visit Boston's Rob "ProBlak" Gibbs to watch him at work painting the mural in the photo above. Read the whole story here.
During the height of the pandemic, I wrote about how it's impacted musicians who rely on touring to make a living I interviewed the last musician I saw perform, an Americana songwriter named John Paul White who was previously part of the duo The Civil Wars with Joy Williams. That show was just two or three days before everything shut down and the show wasn't full because some people were already staying home.
Want an inspiring and uplifting read? Among the articles I wrote during the height of the virus are stories about how neighbors have helped each otherduring Covid-19 and how one man is helping to blanket the homeless in San Francisco
I also wrote a magazine cover story about the how the virus inspired some people to reach out estranged family members. That one seemed to move a lot of readers. It was certainly a buoyant experience to talk to people about healing relationships that had seemed permanently broken.