Since ‘The Viral Papers’ is about asking how we can create whilst waiting in this indeterminate COVID-time, we decided that we wanted to latch on to the topics and subjects that we, our friends, and others who we spoke to had taken for granted before the pandemic and were now re-considering. Much has been made of the New World which will emerge when the uncertainty induced by coronavirus is over: people talk about how we will have a greater appreciation for nature and how the practice of travelling has been changed for ever by the coronavirus, and so on.

But – we didn’t want to wait all that time until the undefined point at which we could begin living in our New World of new ideas. Below is a rolling blog in which we and our contributors discuss and rethink certain topics, ranging from Touch to the News, from Travel to Time.

This part of the project is entitled ‘Slowly-Observing’: we may feel powerless and frustrated now, facing restrictions once again on our movement and freedom, but it is through our observations that we can create something out of this time and plan for the time in which the pandemic will have receded and semblances of normality are allowed to return.


In Conversation with Joanna Lake: Architecture During the Pandemic

An interview with Joanna Lake, a recent architecture graduate, about how our relationships with buildings and spaces, especially those which are public, have changed during the pandemic. Click here to read about windows, libraries, streets, and visions for the future.

The Lull of the In-Between, Julia Lasica

A discovery made whilst walking along the Pilgrim’s Way, a re-appreciation of the in-between, and lessons for how to deal with the oddity of pandemic-skewed time – click here to read Julia’s piece on pilgrimage during a pandemic.

A Book of Mundanity, Aparna Mitra

Click here or on the image to view Aparna Mitra’s beautiful and thoughtful book of drawings on the subject of boredom in lockdown.

Reflections on 2020: Time, Songs, Death, and Prayer, Julia Lasica

Finding company in prayers, songs, stories, and paths: how some coped with the ups and downs of 2020.

Click here to read

Imaginary Travel, Julia Lasica

I wasn’t able to return to my motherland, Ukraine, this year, trapped and restricted in my movements as so many others were by the pandemic. But as the song came together with the whirl of renewing green life around me, I travelled back for the duration of the song to the land I sung of, to the land I had sung in.

Click here to watch the video and read more

Wednesday, Rose Morley

1s, walls, windows, beetles, butterflies: read and listen to Rose Morley’s poem, ‘Wednesday’ by clicking on this link.

News in the Time of Corona, Lauryn Anderson

Tech: Woman falls out of car window while filming Snapchat video on M25. Who can be in my bubble? What are the rules on socialising? What are the rules for meeting my friends? Sport: Pitch-invading alpaca disrupts football match… 

Lauryn Anderson’s prose poem made up entirely of newspaper headlines from 20.09.20. Click here to read

Manchester in Limbo, Olivia Lasica

For the past week in Manchester, there has been huge uncertainty. Boris Johnson and his government have been arguing each day with Andy Burnham through newspaper headlines, as they attempt to move the city into tier 3 restrictions.

Olivia Lasica writes about 20.10.2020 from her perspective as a student. Click here to read more

World Through A Screen, Anna Curzon Price

Here is my cardboard computer. It is my magic device. Through this little shiny, impenetrable panel screen I explore the world, access new ideas, experience new sites.

Anna Curzon Price documents the cardboard computer she made during lockdown. Click here to continue reading and view the computer

On Touch – Video Response, Julia Lasica

To touch – an act increasingly elusive. We are made aware of the virus we may pick up each time our fingers or hands, elbows and clothes come into contact with another surface. Public health information videos highlight areas touched by infection in red.

Julia Lasica’s visual and written response on the topic of touch. Click here to view the video and and continue reading.