“I Think You’re Muted": Voices from the Coronavirus Pandemic

deadline for submissions: 
November 13, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Survive and Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine
contact email: 

In this special issue of _Survive and Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine_ (Vol. 6, slated for publication Summer 2021; full schedule below), we ask students, educators, caregivers, essential workers, survivors, scholars, and healthcare professionals to give voice to their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. 

While many stories of life during COVID may share similar threads, we acknowledge the spectrum of COVID’s effect on intimate relationships; educational experiences; work displacement; mental, physical, and spiritual strains; grief, mourning, and loss; quarantine; illness; and altered experiences of spaces. Within these unique experiences, we ask for an exploration of COVID through a humanities lens. 

We seek scholarly articles, creative works, reflective texts, and more that demonstrate and/or critique life during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic—from the intense and raw moments of initial stay-at-home orders, to the long and mundane weeks of “new normal” routines, to the tepid resumption of work, school, or community engagement in the midst of the pandemic’s continuance. Contributors might explore these questions and their own: 

  • How did COVID-19 affect experiences of ritualized mourning? 

  • How did changes in individual's or family’s physical space alter intimate relationships? 

  • How did participation in shared experiences (either in online or physical communities) alleviate or contribute to feelings of anxiousness or control during quarantine? 

  • How did virtual communication enhance or mitigate feelings of isolation or socialization? 

  • How did individuals experience the passing of time and make decisions about how to spend time during quarantine? 

  • How did time in quarantine elicit or hinder creative energy?  

  • How has quarantine affected individuals’ relationship with natural spaces? 

  • How has healthcare shaped and been shaped by the pandemic? 

  • How are individuals or families navigating financial crises during the pandemic? 

  • How did the pandemic influence individuals’ experiences of other, concurrent crises unfolding on a personal, local, or national scale (e.g. BLM, election year politics, West Coast wildfires, the deaths of prominent figures such as John Lewis or RBG, etc.)?

We especially would like to hear from students, educators, patients, caregivers, medical professionals, business owners, essential workers, and writers from all communities and backgrounds that experienced mandatory stay-at-home orders. 

Send us your work exploring life, change, and “normalcy” during the coronavirus pandemic. 



-November 13, 2020:  Deadline for Abstracts 

Submit to: Lawler173@d.umn.edu

-January 15th, 2021:  Deadline for Completed Work

Submit to: <https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/cgi/submit.cgi?context=survive_thrive>

Summer 2021:  Projected Publication



"Submissions" may include text, video, audio, or image files that express the aims and scope of the journal. Submissions cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note that "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior puties and Narrative as Medicine, the creator is stipulating that the material is not currently under rblication. In addition, by making a submission to Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanieview at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine. If you have concerns about the submission terms for Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine, please contact the editors.



A FEW SUGGESTED READINGS, in alphabetical order:

Bremmer, Ian. “The Next Global Depression Is Coming and Optimism Won’t Slow It Down.” Time. 6 Aug. 2020, time.com/5876606/economic-depression-coronavirus/. 

Byers, Bruce. “Ecology and COVID-19 #5: Coronavirus, Human Hubris, and Life in the Coevolving Biosphere.” Ecology Society of America , 2020, www.esa.org/esablog/guest-posts/ecology-and-covid-19-5-coronavirus-human...

Fadel, Leila, et al. “As Hospitals Lose Revenue, More Than A Million Health Care Workers Lose Jobs.” NPR, NPR, 8 May 2020, www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852435761/as-hospitals-lose-revenue-thousands-of-...

Kuznia, Robert, and Collette Richards. “Americans Describe Life under Coronavirus Quarantine.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Mar. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/03/05/us/coronavirus-passengers-describe-life-in-quaran....

Lavietes, Matthew, et al. “'A Pandemic in a Pandemic': Coronavirus Deepens Racial Gaps in America.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 20 Aug. 2020, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-race-money-insight-idUSKBN25G1EW.

Mezzina, Roberto, et al. “Mental Health at the Age of Coronavirus: Time for Change.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol. 55, no. 8, 2020, pp. 965–968.

Marc Fisher, et al. “Stay Home or Carry on during the Coronavirus Outbreak? Americans Want to Sacrifice for Others but Can’t Agree on What’s Right.” The Washington Post, 2020, pp. The Washington post, 2020–03-21.

Sainato, Michael. “'I Cry before Work': US Essential Workers Burned out amid Pandemic.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 23 Sept. 2020, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/23/us-essential-workers-coronavirus...



Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine aims to provide opportunities for sharing research, artistic work, pedagogical dialogue, and the practices of medical humanities and narrative as medicine. Although it is linked to the Survive and Thrive Conference and Arts Festival, the journal serves its own mission in education and the practice of humanities as they relate to illness, injury, and trauma. One of the primary aims of the journal is to bring medical humanities and narrative medicine to patients, survivors, and caregivers. Its emphasis, therefore, is on patients and survivors and their needs, and while aware of and supporting professional medical education, the journal is most concerned with an audience broader than an academic audience. We encourage physicians and others in the medical profession to practice Narrative as Medicine by submitting their work, especially when it encourages them to be artists – visual, performance, and literary. The scope of the journal is eclectic in that it considers all the disciplines of medicine and the humanities while focusing on their relationship and the needs of survivors and patients.

Also see: <http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/survive_thrive/aimsandscope.html>

Also see:


Editorial Contact Email:



For publication in: 

_Survive and Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine_ 


Project co-edited by:

Sarah Lawler, Lawle173@d.umn.edu

David Beard, DBeard@d.umn.edu