Around mid March a new denomination entered the everyday vocabulary of ours, Covid-19. This time it did not limited itself to any particular section of the world; the Middle East, Latin America, the third world, the industrial world, poor and powerful were all equally hit by the new fact, the new virus that changed quite a lot of things in our public and private lives; changes that seem to be staying with us and maybe even lead us toward a new era of the humanity on the Earth.
Covid-19 has affected us hard; it affected our health and the conditions of life and death, our social relations, the ways in which we work, and the ways in which we earn our living.
In the first glance it seems that Corona has greatly damaged the global economy in the way of massive closure of factories, small and big businesses, work places of all sorts, airlines, etc. But some people didn’t give in to the conditions dictated by the Virus. As the proof of the Darwinian principal of ‘survival of the fittest’ they have adapted their businesses to the promises of the new Corona-era.
Sarah, 30, and Amir-Massoud, 36, are a young couple owning a small clothing store in a shopping passage in the north of Teheran. They have managed for years to keep their small business up and running despite the sanctions and a myriad of economic difficulties. For the last couple of years Sarah has also been designing cloths and accessories. After the outbreak of the pandemic the shopping passage and consequently their shop and business were all of a sudden closed for an unknown duration of time. Having passed the chock of the first month of disbelief and uncertainty they decided not to give in and not to let the fruit of years of hard work fall apart. They turned one of the rooms at home into an office and began through Instagram to sell online. They dropped some extra expenses, such as those of the photographers and the models, and began themselves to take care of all the activities involved in their business from photographing and modeling to packing, delivery and advertising. Sarah began also to design and sew colorful masques. Later they were able to turn their account into an online boutique.
Covid-19 could not defeat them; their business ended up to grow and develop in its form and the services it renders. “The boredom and numbness of the quarantine motivate me to hold into my little business and work harder. Economically this has been a very good time for us, although working and staying constantly at home has taken its toll on our nerves”, says Sarah.
Sarah’s and Amir-Massoud’s story is the story of adapting to changing environments in order to survive. My endeavor has been to register their world that in my eyes is full of colors and hope.