Read Our Editor’s Note on the March 2021 One Year of COVID-19 Issue

Illustration by Martha Napier

A little look behind the scenes at Orange Coast: Publishing our magazine over the past year has been interesting, challenging, rewarding, restorative, demanding, and sometimes just weird. People ask, “How do you do it every month? How much can there be to cover with so many things closed?” My first reaction last March was similar: How do we put together a lifestyle magazine when there’s no lifestyle?

I couldn’t have been more wrong. There’s no shortage of wonderful stories to tell, and that’s true this year perhaps more than any other. I’m not sure we’ve ever had more engaging covers or more worthwhile subjects. The county’s creative types cooked up ways to reinvent themselves, and the community shared a spirit of cooperation. We can’t gather with hundreds of people in a theater for a live performance? Then we’ll devise an outdoor venue with space between people for a concert, event, or class. The gyms are all closed? We’ll work out with fitness instructors in parks and in parking lots. And will we ever go to an office to work again?

This month’s cover story highlights restaurateurs, educators, artists, health professionals, and others who exemplified fresh thinking and embraced new strategies to thrive. We talk to an economist to see what’s in store for the coming year, and readers tell us about the things they can’t wait to do again. Plus, we look at words added to our vocabulary: Zoom fatigue, social distancing—quarantini, anyone?

As we mark one year of pandemic life, there is much to mourn: thousands of loved ones lost, businesses forced to close, economic devastation, and the longing for shared experiences. But there are reasons for hope. We have learned and innovated. We rejoice in simple pleasures. We recognize the things we cherish most about O.C., and how excited we will be to get back to them. This month, we honor and celebrate it all.

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