In late March, days into the stay-home edict, we joked about the consequences of forced, extended time with our loved ones. When it was over, would there be a baby boom, a rise in divorce rates, or increased numbers of vasectomies?

A month later, in somewhat less humorous tones, we wondered if the real test was extended time with ourselves. The novelty of sourdough starters, jigsaw puzzles, and Tiger King wore off, leaving for many of us the real domestic consequence: coerced introspection.

Thirteen Hawaii writers shared their introspection, holding their front-facing cameras to their covered faces to mark the time and place like red You Are Here dots in malls we were forbidden from visiting.

Behind the mask, we were stressed about our children. Behind the mask, we resolved to be better. Behind the mask, we commemorated glorious days of youth, establishing new homes, and unexpected moments of spiritual connection.

I’m proud to present these glimpses into COVID-19 life for the first issue of Hawaii Stories, and grateful to the writers who gave themselves in creating this document of a crazy era in a beloved space.

When a future civilization’s archaeologists dig through the layers of Hawaii’s 21st Century, they’ll brush the dust off this faded jacket and see who we were, #BehindTheMask. I hope they’ll be as moved as I am.

Mitchell K. Dwyer
Hawaii Stories Guest Editor
Vol. 1, Issue 1

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