Tag: COVID-19

Worlds Collide – A Hero Returns by Robert Scott

ACT I

Welcome to my world. I am happy.

My den is at peak den. I have all I need, and more. After months, years, of ups and downs, I have finally arrived where I want to be. Peace, comfort, security. A room with a view. A sea of tranquillity stretches out to every point of my horizon.

But then the ground shakes. A messenger from the old world comes, unexpected, and with an unwelcome invitation.

Packing up the shit by Lucy Goldring

Whip the plastic net off the counter, your other hand snatching small blunt scissors from the drawer. Chew the bright orange mesh into wildlife-friendly pieces and lob them into the kitchen bin as you flip the lid with a perfectly timed toe-pump. Attack task after task like a TV ninja fending off waves of frenzied assailants.

From the fridge – that meekly-lit synthetic void – rescue a tub of vegan spread, half a mature cheddar and some ripped open ham that won’t survive five hours of stuffy car. Sprint up to the campsite at the other end of the grounds. Think about this being the final leg of the pig’s miserable journey as you palm off the sweaty goods on nonplussed relatives. Sprint back. Strip the bed according to the property’s ‘Covid-safe’ instructions: mattress protectors in the red bag, sheets and duvet covers in the green, towels made into a damp pyramid in the bathtub. Tackle the washing up mound for the third time in as many hours. Sweep the floor and return the dustpan to the musty cupboard. Discover tumbleweeds of dog hair and dead leaves amongst the jumble of your shoes. Silently weep. Clap each pair together, sending allergens whirling, and bundle in the IKEA carrier you never wanted. Sweep again.

Shelter by Patty Somlo

I don’t remember the first time I heard the term “shelter-in-place.” Like many expressions that come out of nowhere and get repeated ad nauseum, turning into clichés, shelter-in-place probably entered my consciousness from the local nightly news. Until the coronavirus began to dominate TV news coverage, reporters in my area, which covers San Francisco and its sprawling suburbs, focused on grizzly car accidents, house fires, and of course, shootings. From time to time, a shooter would be pursued, and residents warned to shelter-in-place.

The term has been used more frequently in the past two decades with the rise in school shootings. Students practice active shooter drills, in which they shelter-in-place until first responders arrive and the danger has passed.

Another Baby by Kevin Stadt

Emily stood in front of the coffee pot at the kitchen counter, holding her empty mug and trying to talk herself out of pouring another cup. Her teeth buzzed already, and she’d been having trouble sleeping lately.

She listed all the reasons. The caffeine made her sleep for shit and then that led to her being tired and wanting more coffee the next day. And of course it then fed into her drinking more wine in the evenings just to take the edge off, which was a whole other issue. She’d also read lately that it was especially bad for people with anxiety issues and panic attacks.

Unboxed by Nathalie Lawrence

Helloooo, my lovelies! It’s so great to see you again. Thanks for coming back to my channel for my monthly beauty box unboxing. I can’t believe another month has already sailed by because what is time anymore, right???

Anyway, I just got my Glitzyglam and NailChic boxes from the package room in my building’s basement that smells vaguely like trash and sewage and I’m really starting to wonder if management is ever going to do anything about it, but let’s be real, the answer is probably not. Doesn’t matter, though, because I’m epically thrilled for this month’s video. I hate to disappoint, but I’m going to have to skip the Glitzyglam and NailChic unboxings this time because my mask box just came in, and I have to share it with you.

The Public Library Love Letter by Rebecca Stonehill

1

Age seven or eight, I receive my first public library card of
hard, green plastic with black letters emblazoned across it and
I look at no other words apart from these precious two:
Book Token.

I wobble up and down the streets between my house
and the mobile library, perched like a mirage
between roaring cars and the curly slide I stand atop for hours,
unsure if I am brave enough to hurl myself down.

Poverty Line by Emma Robertson

The queue at the foodbank is even longer than usual. Recent events have hit people hard; so many lost jobs and reduced incomes taking their toll on local families. According to Twitter, the number of people needing to use this particular foodbank has more than quadrupled in the past three months and the size of the queue would seem to bear that out. They put out a tweet this afternoon – we are running out of food, please come down and donate what you can.

Birdhouse by Nidhi Arora

Peter changed into his pyjamas, brushed his teeth, shaved and settled in front of his computer for the Friday night whole-family video call that Mary had started when the lockdown began, ‘to keep their collective spirits up’. She lived two streets away with her husband and twin daughters. David dialled in from Napa Valley. Between Annie’s drawings, Katie’s handstands and David’s virtual tours of his vineyard, they didn’t get much talking done, which suited Peter just fine.

The only good thing about these calls was that he didn’t have to make eye contact. If he pasted a benign smile on his face and stared somewhere in the proximity of the camera, he could get through the whole call analysing his own receding hair line. It helped that Olivia preferred to dial in from her own phone from her own room.