Spring 2020: April Issue 4

Dearest Vulcan,

It is under drastically different conditions that I now write to you. With campus empty and echoing (see “Schools Close, Classes Go Online”), the state essentially quarantined, the nation on the brink of pandemonium (“United States of Corona”), and the planet facing a global pandemic, there isn’t a single facet of our university that has been left immune to the immense transitions wrought by COVID-19. I’m hoping that the hard work undertaken by our staff here at Ke Kalahea offers a glimpse into the abrupt, unprecedented, and rapidly developing changes affecting our campus and community.

It’s also with much ado that I’d like to announce some exciting new joint projects between Ke Kalahea and University Radio Hilo (URH). Beginning with the publication of this issue, tune into 101.1 FM to catch some of our staff featuring digests of their content on the air. Also be sure to check out a few DJs and information on their organization in a spotlight brought to you by URH.

Upon receiving the news of the University of Hawaiʻi’s systemwide decision to move classes online, our team immediately began some of the necessary arrangements to move Ke Kalahea’s operations onto the cloud. By an uncanny coincidence that same morning, both my cell service and internet data suddenly shut off, scaring me stiff and leaving me estranged by all modern standards. I had merely neglected to pay the bill, but the eerie, off-the-grid silence and disconnect in the midst of a pandemic isn’t something I’ll forget. Needless to say, nothing has felt quite the same since March 12.

This new and rattling reality is –without a doubt – unlike anything any of us have ever experienced in our lifetimes. Beyond the harrowing health crisis lies sundry layers of repercussions already affecting us socially, culturally, politically, economically, environmentally, spiritually, personally. These changes make ready a shift within the ways that our kind connects to one another around the globe, and they’re outlining how we will connect to one another moving ahead into the future.

During these times, please take care of yourself, and please remember the importance of family, friends, and well-being. Physically distance without socially isolating yourself from others. Allow the grief, fear, and sadness to run their course and remind you of your own humanity, but do not ever let them linger. Practice treating laughter, music, nature, play, and creativity as medicine. Reconnect with the ways in which you find joy – the simple truth to who you are when no one’s looking. Process, search, and heal, so that we may all be stronger threads of our web in the end.

Be healthy,