They scheduled routine check-ups, but the doctors were gone. They were tended by interns.
They sent children back to school. Half the teachers were gone.
So it went: at police stations, town halls, colleges, labs—everywhere, those with the most experience to pass on were either sick, or already gone.
Jennifer L. Freed mostly writes poems, which have appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
I would only take my mask off for her.
The fresh air is incredible, at odds with my recycled sickness. She reaches for my hand; I withdraw like I’ve been conditioned to. I give in. Her face is warm and flushed, perfect, just how I remember. Mine is unevenly unshaven.
Jonathan H. Smith (@JHSmithMD) is a physician and author living in Arizona.
I reach the end of my street and here comes Mr. No-Mask, huffing and puffing like a freight train. I back up, let him pass. One block later, Ms. Cell Phone comes walking and talking, oblivious.
I just go home and read today’s forecast: ninety percent chance of “no walk”.
Paul Bluestein is a physician (no longer practicing) and a blues musician (still practicing). He used to go for walks on the beach where he could think about he past, wonder about the future and lose his sunglasses.
Brittney is young, healthy, so she’s not worried. She and her friends gather in each other’s apartments, sharing beer and restlessness, missing Real Life.
Then Brittney’s neighbor—the retired kindergarten teacher she buys groceries for—tests positive.
Finally the headline sinks in: Brittney and all her friends could be carriers.
Jennifer L Freed mostly writes poems, which have appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
Some things happen
before we understand
what they are
We are an army of generals
in official denial
“It won’t affect us!”
A cough is released
and converge into waves.
The news becomes
a tragic chronicle
of fallen names
On my street
houses shuttered tight
as darkness falls.
Eliza Mimski writes poems while sheltered in place in San Francisco.
Darn the holes in the socks
Touch up grey hair roots
Get up close and personal with some favorite cooking shows
Organize the kitchen cupboards
Attack the dust bunnies that reside under the bed
Binge read every single story published on 50-Word Stories
Or sit around and do absolutely nothing
Marjan Sierhuis enjoys reading and writing flash fiction. Follow @MarjanSierhuis
“Get some rest,” the doctor suggested, upon glancing at my chart for a millisecond. “The fever will break soon.”
It sounded dismissive and rehearsed.
I fought the urge to launch into a diatribe about attention to detail. Realistically, it didn’t matter anymore: he was unaware he’d been treating Patient Zero.
Eldar recently finished reading a novel about a devastating pandemic. Go figure.