The past nine months have been, for me, a time of insatiable hungers. Hunger for comfort remains unsatisfied by more bags of potato chips than I’d care to think about. Hunger for companionship isn’t dented by the low-calorie substitute of video chats. Hungers for information and reassurance are only exacerbated as I constantly refresh the websites of newspapers and government agencies and are made still worse by the neverending feedbag of social media, the informational equivalent of a heap of cold french fries. And yet I am lucky: many people are facing each day in this time of endless unease without enough to eat.
This is the first issue of Oregon Humanities to be created entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the first call for submissions through publication. I think it shows in both the topics and the ways our contributors chose to approach them. You’ll find stories here about food insecurity and family cooking traditions, preservation and sacrifice, friendship and survival. They are all, at heart, about needs and appetites, and how we succeed or fail to satisfy them.
Right now, satisfaction feels distant. I hope we all find fullness in the year to come.
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