Photos: Daily Rhythms Define a New Normal, From Zoom Classes to Research Labs

April 20, 2020 By Sanjay Suchak, Sanjay Suchak,

In the fifth week since the COVID-19 pandemic suspended normal activity at the University of Virginia, new rhythms have begun to establish themselves.

Professors enter and leave classrooms and offices alone, giving lectures and leading discussions with students now visible only through videoconference. Across Grounds at UVA Health, a shift change is marked by cheers – construction workers applauding the hard work of health care providers at UVA Health as they also work to complete a much-needed new hospital wing.

And, in labs scattered around Grounds, UVA researchers remain dedicated to finding treatments and pursuing vaccines for COVID-19, knowing that their work, done in isolation today, can help bring us all out of isolation soon.

Here’s a look around Grounds, more than a month into the pandemic.

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Pledge (of social distancing): On my honor as a member of this community, I will not gather, picnic, or play on Grounds during these extraordinary times. Say aloud (and keep walking).

Signs appeared on the Lawn and Madison Bowl asking members of the University community to refrain from picnicking, playing sports or otherwise gathering, to help preserve social distancing measures and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Computer screen during a zoom meeting with President Ryan speaking

President Jim Ryan dropped in on engineering professor William Scherer’s class on Zoom to say hello and listen in on the discussion.

Person running up steps on Grounds

A runner jogs up a set of stairs near the Lawn.

Professor standing at a podium with an empty classroom

Frederick Schauer, the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the UVA School of Law, leads his virtual morning class from an empty lecture hall.

Building with wooden walls, empty chairs in the room

Professor standing at a podium with an empty classroom

Scott Commons at the Law School is completely empty, when it normally would be packed around midday. Elsewhere at the Law School, associate professor of law Aditya Bamzai records his class in another empty lecture hall.

Fox on the Lawn as a storm is moving in

Following a rainstorm, University photographer Sanjay Suchak spotted a red fox making its way up the Lawn, continuing down the steps of the Rotunda toward the basement level, consistent with other photos showing wildlife returning to places humans have left.

staff members talking while holding a trolly of supplies in brown boxes

UVA workers standing on a sidewalk talking with brown boxes everywhere

Melissa Goldman and Trevor Kemp, who both work in the School of Architecture’s fabrication lab, deliver a shipment of 550 face shields to Charlottesville’s Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. They are part of a team across Grounds using their skills to design, create and even 3-D print protective equipment for health care providers and other frontline workers. Earlier on the same day, Goldman and Kemp delivered more than 1,000 face shields to UVA Health.

person staring at two large arched ribbed stone pieces

Cauline Yates, a descendant of the Hemings family of Monticello, takes in the view of the new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, nearly completed. In the mid-morning light, the eyes of Isabella Gibbons, etched on one side of the memorial, are clearly visible in front of Yates. Gibbons was enslaved by a University professor and became a teacher after emancipation. The memorial honors all those, named and unnamed, who were enslaved at UVA. It was set to open April 11, but that ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic.

Man sitting at his desk in a zoom meeting

Professor teaching a class on zoom from their office

Gerald Warburg, a professor of practice in public policy, leads a video-conferenced class from his office at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Even during the pandemic, Warburg has managed to keep his classes engaged with civic leaders. U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax) and U.S. Rep. Ron Wittman (R-Tidewater) joined this session.

Arial View of Charlottesville

On the morning of April 15, the mountains around Charlottesville were coated in a dusting of snow, while the city below enjoyed a beautiful spring day.

two people working in a lab  with their backs facing each other

Dan Engel, left, a professor of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology, and senior research scientist Tsuyoshi Miyake are hard at work testing potential medicines for COVID-19.

Mom taking a picture of her son as they stand in front of the Rotunda and Thomas Jeffersons statue
Construction workers stand to clap as healthcare works change shifts

Close up of construction workers clapping for the healthcare workers

Construction workers lining the hospital construction project clapping as health care workers change shifts

Early on the morning of April 16, construction crews working on the new UVA Health wing lined up to applaud and stomp their boots on the metal flooring as health care workers arrived for their shifts or headed home after a long night.

Media Contact

Sanjay Suchak

Photographer Office of University Communications