It has been quite a year so far(!) and as the wenches we are, we have been taking our time to collect our thoughts and reflections before sharing them at the start of this issue of the journal. In this editorial we think through the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects on the world, on our lives and on our editorial processes. We renew our commitment to improving our operations as a journal and its health along with our own as we deploy wench tactics to restore, sustain and slow down to negotiate this new reality, this new world. We conclude with an introduction to the fascinating contents of this issue along with a collaborative statement of values on open access as part of a collective of intersectional feminist and social justice editors. Through all of the pain and suffering we focus our gaze on hope: hope that we can come through this global crisis together engaging in critical conversations about how we can be better and do better as editors, academics and individuals for ourselves, our colleagues and our journal.