I’ve created art throughout the pandemic and it has kept me grounded. Most of my “Ladies of Corona” are self-portraits in some way. In the beginning of COVID, my husband and I had the stress of trying to get our son home from the east coast. There was a lot of scrambling for flights and other logistical problems to solve. Once our son was home, I went through a period of jubilation, enjoying the family time. We spent time together cooking, dancing, and playing games. It was like a family vacation. I wasn’t too worried about the virus at this stage. Although lethal, the images of the virus were quite beautiful. For the first few months, I played around with images of the virus. My first piece depicted a queen with a crown full of viruses. I did not feel particularly vulnerable. Later, our family was much less enthusiastic about the quarantine time together. I wanted to rekindle those first few days, but my family needed personal space. This virus was beginning to feel scarier. During this phase I began making pieces such as “Inception.” In this piece, the virus is oversized and weighing heavily on the figure’s head while her hand is grasping at her throat. As the pandemic worsened, I began having panic attacks. I found it hard to breathe and then, putting a mask over my face made it even more difficult to breathe. I couldn’t understand the panic as I’ve counted myself among the fortunate ones. My husband still had a job and, ironically, art sales had risen during this period of isolation. However, watching my children stress over school, friendships, and an uncertain future was painful. It was during this time that I created “Looming.” This piece is a woman with a large virus on her head and a skull floating above. I was feeling quite hopeless and worried whether my parents and other relatives would even survive the pandemic. Hospitals were overrun with COVID patients and people were dying at unprecedented rates. I was concerned about the health and well-being of hospital workers. I listened to accounts of their stories of desperation and exhaustion. The last piece in my series was “Hero” which was created in recognition and praise for health care professionals. Although still a bit grim with the virus and skulls, the woman is wearing a crown, an honorific symbol. My hope is that these pieces will serve as a reminder of both our vulnerability and our strength.