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Hope in the Aloha State

At the end of March, Honolulu resembled a dead city. With the “stay-at-home” order, people weren’t socializing as much. The Hawaii we were seeing then was the opposite of what anyone could picture from an earlier time. No tourists were posing for a selfie; barely anyone sunbathed on the beach and, most importantly for us locals, there was no rush hour on the highways. The famous Waikiki beach is discouraged for anyone to relax and watch the sunset. In mid-May, Hawai‘i saw no new positive cases but that increasingly went up after a while. On August 13, the state saw its record number of COVID-19 positive cases of 353 in one day. Due to the rising concern during the second wave, Hawai‘i is currently going through its second lockdown. This photo essay is about a sense of hope in paradise, where people used to gather for holidays, parties, wedding ceremonies and whatnot. The idea of “normalcy” has been radically altered and will likely continue until an unknown time. However, the new creative adaptations led communities within O‘ahu to be benign and resilient even during the pandemic.

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