Sketched May 18, 2020

Welcome to the heart of the University of Washington campus in the midst of a pandemic.

If you look closely at my sketch, you will see a skateboarder. Of the few random people I saw at Red Square, he seemed to be having the most fun, zipping back and forth across the brick-paved plaza with plenty of room to practice his skateboard acrobatics.

You will also see a couple of people standing by a Starbucks coffee truck. The barista said the vehicle has been parked by Suzzallo Library since early March, when in-person classes were canceled and everything went online for UW, and Starbucks had to close its campus stores to comply with the state’s measures to fight the novel coronavirus.

If you look closely again, you may be able to read the words on the large, orange-and-yellow banner that hangs from one of the brick monoliths on the north side of the plaza. “Together We Will” is one of eight UW brand tenets that celebrate the university’s values as a community.

As college students here and throughout the region gear up for virtual graduation ceremonies and face an uncertain timeline for returning to classrooms after the pandemic, the message especially stood out as a sign of hope.

“Together We Will.” I like the sound of that.