Shannon Bruno is a 27-year-old, Filipino-American skincare enthusiast & beauty content creator from Seattle, WA.

Connection in Seclusion

First things first: To overworked healthcare providers and researchers, thank you; to essential employees and delivery services, thank you; to restaurants who continue to stay open for taking out, thank you. You all are the real heroes of this worldwide catastrophe.

Three months ago, I doubt that many people had the foresight or understanding of what COVID-19 would incur. Humans are social by nature – we desire connection. Hence, this social distancing, while necessary, presents a tangible challenge for a society predicated on people’s ability to go and to be. We’ve heard the messages “Don’t lose hope” and “We will get through this” ad nauseam, and these messages are consequentially essential, but we don’t do well with idleness or solitude.


However, in today’s era of technology, the capacity to truly be alone has dwindled significantly. It’s not the same as being in the same room with someone. Nowhere close, in my opinion. But when the innate desire to be close with family and friends must be denied, for the health and safety of the commonwealth, technology becomes a godsend. 


Take the time to scroll through your phone contacts. (I know… who does this anymore?) Who have you lost touch with? To whom did you promise a meal or drinks, but never followed through? Reach out to them. In all likelihood, they’re in a similar situation – working from home or suddenly relegated to online classes. This time is a wonderful opportunity to rekindle lapsed friendships.


To the students who lost the rest of their school year: I’m sorry, and I understand the whirlwind of emotions that will follow. Hopefully, you’re home, safe, away from the risk of infection. If your online classes have begun or will resume shortly, you may be struggling to determine a home-academic balance. However, there is still a group of students that are caught in perpetual limbo – displaced and alone. International students now face a critical choice: potentially stay on a deserted campus with little to no provisions or attempt to return home. American students might mope about staying home or worse, don’t, while some international student’s sole, unfulfillable wish is to go home.


Now is the time to extend a virtual hug. Ask international students how they are doing, if they have a place to stay, will they have access to resources and necessary provisions. It might seem strange to you, but I promise no one will spite you for genuinely trying to show that you care. In the midst of our seclusion, I challenge you to brighten someone’s day. Call or message the friend that you’ve neglected, the international student you’ve never spoken to, the elderly neighbor you haven’t seen in a while. Let the revival of friendship fill you with joy and remind you that we are all connected.


Unprecedented levels of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety must be met with unprecedented levels of love, empathy, and kindness.


Godspeed to those searching for treatment, wisdom to those in positions of authority, unshakeable strength, and resilience to those on the front lines, and a peace that passes understanding to all of humanity.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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