Publishing Our Global Beauty Issue During a Pandemic: Editor’s Letter
This month, we set out to explore the incredible beauty resources and traditions beyond our borders, and to share that wide world with you in our first-ever Best of Global Beauty issue. Shoots were scheduled. Writers assigned. Then, as we were putting the final touches on these amazing stories, our world changed. The new coronavirus accelerated its relentless spread.
Suddenly we were faced with so many questions. First and foremost: How do we keep the staff, ourselves, and our loved ones safe? After that not-so-easily-solved problem, there were more: How do we share a global beauty issue in the midst of a global health crisis? How do we celebrate K-pop and Korean beauty on our cover while being sensitive to the widespread concerns about the effects of this pandemic?
I’ll be honest — we didn’t know exactly how to respond. These are truly uncharted waters, and reactions around the world have run the gamut, from hysteria to apathy. Some people have given in to their worst impulses. Panic and paranoia — and a disturbing wave of anti-Asian racism — have reared their ugly heads.
Ultimately, this crisis has reminded us just how interconnected we truly are. It has been a reminder and a necessary wake-up call that decisions we make — as countries, as families, as individuals — can greatly impact others. While I was in Tokyo last year, long before the pandemic took hold, someone explained why it’s common to see Japanese people wearing surgical masks on sidewalks and subways. “It’s about personal responsibility,” she said. It’s not that they’re afraid of catching someone else’s germs (as I initially thought); it’s that they want to protect others from theirs. This small act explained so much about Japanese culture — and also shifted my perception about how we should all view our roles within a larger community. Care for others is care for ourselves.
For the moment, it’s right to focus on safety. One of the small prices we’ve had to pay is that travel will have to wait. But as we reaffirmed while working on this issue, there’s still so much beauty to be found around the world and so much to learn, even from afar. We’ll keep reporting, looking forward to the day when we can experience it all in person once again.
Read more stories about COVID-19:
Now watch a professional mermaid’s routine from start to finish: