The introduction to this special issue, An Anthropology of the COVID-19 Pandemic, highlights the collective nature of its production. However, two especially important participants in all of this deserve special mention. Maria D. Vesperi and Emily Martin were so central to this project that I would be remiss if I did not comment here on their contributions. For those not familiar, Maria D. Vesperi was the general editor of Anthropology Now (AN) before I inherited the post in 2017. Now she is Executive Coordinating Editor and Professor of Anthropology at the New College of Florida. Emily Martin is our First Associate Editor and Professor Emerita at New York University. Significantly, Emily is also the founder of AN, as many readers might already be aware.
To be clear, since I started my position at AN, both Maria and Emily have continued to play vital roles. Even so, their efforts in pulling together this special issue far exceeded the expectations of their respective positions. I proposed the idea of a special issue on the COVID-19 pandemic to them on March 14, and we quickly and collectively decided to move forward as fast as possible. Compelled by our collective imagination and a sense of urgency, Emily and Maria bounded out of the gate, so to speak. For the next five weeks, their sustained energy was remarkable. They worked tirelessly every day, brainstorming with me, contacting potential contributors and fielding questions from them, reviewing ideas, and editing essays as they came in. I could write much more about the seemingly endless list of tasks they undertook; suffice it to say that readers would not be viewing An Anthropology of the COVID-19 Pandemic were it not for Emily and Maria.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you a thousand times, Emily and Maria.
Rylan Higgins General Editor Anthropology Now