It’s no secret that the global pandemic of 2020 is a time that history will remember. For many, it has been a confusing time, one of personal loss or substantial upheaval. For others, a different kind of experience, a detox of sorts; a return to simple habits or new beginnings.
In fact, there is no ‘right answer’ to how we’ve each personally felt during this experience. Which is why we recently invited our community to give us their ‘write answer’ instead. The brief was simple – to share how YOU feel about COVID-19 in 19 words… A micro story, a sentence or two, poem or simply a stream of words. The only rule was that it be 19 words.
Thank you to the many hundreds of responses we received – we hope it was a creative and worthwhile challenge to complete. We’ve selected just some of them to share with you below.
Freedoms lost, fellowship gained. Sacrifice made, albeit pained
Challenges faced, much ado. World emerges, changed anew
. . . Welcome to Pandemic
Come listen to my tale: Fingers crossed and washed. Elusive dreams become real, grow book-shaped in these lockdown times.
Sunrise. I wake.
This is not my normal.
Mother nature speaks. I listen.
This is no dream.
We are Co-vivors
Defiance and resilience
Aussies through and through
We will co-vive!
On-line yoga, bread-making, zooming, sharing recipes, books and podcasts. So much stress, so much love.
I know you better.
Weeds gone, deck oiled, Mario Kart played. Reading, watching, snoozing. Shopping-induced anxiety and immense gratitude for a still-open beach.
Unshaven, un-showered and dishevelled, working from home in pyjamas until the inevitable, unexpected Zoom video call from the boss.
Acknowledging joy felt within, Allows healing to begin.
Creativity uplifts the soul, When we connect as a conscious whole.
We walk three paces apart, though it seems like twenty, as we synchronise heartbeats, and avoid one another’s breath.
Unsettling times, trying times, times of change.
Time at home, time with my children, precious time to create memories.
My home destroyed
bushfires forgotten towns forgotten
now virus controls days
of suffering alone quietly knitting eating sourdough bread
Four months dating – now housemates, puppy parents.
The only huggee fulfils every role.
…But what about afterwards?
Is this what I always wanted? the stillness fills me. I am allowed to do, say and be, nothing.
I’m okay. But the one thing that’s messing with me,” she whispered, “is that nobody knows when this will
I fear you Covid, yet I must thank you. This Granny now Snapshots and TikToks with her four grandkids.
I was to travel, grow and get what I sought. Now I still can, just not how I thought.
This pandemic is playing out like dystopian fiction
While I hide from the kids, drinking wine in the kitchen
It was the beginning step for a reset the world desperately needed. By slowing down we found ourselves again.
Takeout deliveries. Buying online. Appreciating others on the front lines. Remembering what’s important: basic necessities and a healthy family.
You hear of the greats who wrote masterpieces in seclusion. I brushed my teeth this morning. I deserve a nap.
Streets in every city are bare, devoid of their bustling occupants. I wanna wrap my arms around the globe.
Flutters of fear
The world stops
Together we can change this
To wings of hope
I considered myself an introvert but COVID-19 made me realise that introversion has a scale. This tips the scale.
Isolated by a virus I’ll make jam from home grown citrus.
Orange. Lemon. Mandarin.
Clustered closely on burgeoning branches.
Control defined me.
Covid has bleached norms, routines, long held beliefs
Effortlessly redecorating life in muted hues of surrender.
Anxious but grateful. Scared but safe. Restless but creative. Isolated but social. Helpless but hopeful. Navigating our changing world.
Rosellas swoop, swerve, and land on a whim while wistful humans watch, wait, and learn stillness, silence and solitude.
Roads silent, footpaths chattering. Neighbours lingering longer than normal, lounged on steps, fences; catching snippets of sun and conversation.
A virus that has shaken mankind to it’s very soul
Quick go out and buy a toilet roll!
My Google class
is a farce
drives me wild
need a drink.
He braves the germy masses
Their droplets, eyes unseen
Their grimy fingers grabbing
The last tins of baked beans
While others withered like a forgotten flower in the filtered sun, like a negative in a darkroom, I bloomed.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow, another update. Warnings, new cases, deaths. Uplifting stories grant hope. Someday, I promise, this will end.
To die with no one beside you, to hold your hand, say you are loved
Cruel Covid-begone- enough!
Isolation? More like a houseful. Inoculating my teen sons with full-time mothering. Bonus: they cook and read for me!
I gain weight,
The days blend,
Social media trends,
I work from home now,
The stairs my only commute.
Everything on hold, including our breath.
Hold on educations, jobs, taxes,
Hold on toilet paper,
Skies quieter; birds louder; my children safe; fear simmering, but not boiling over; life is simpler, calmer, almost better.
Mandatory vaccination, participatory hallucination. Demanding isolation, extracting information. Perplexing vocations, infecting host nations. Neglecting direction, expecting probation. Covert sightseeing.
Blindness, bushfires, pandemic. I laugh. Have to survive. I’ve already cried. Life no longer has a name I recognise.
A time-slowed gift to heal ourselves and the planet, to care for each other and create a braver world.
What day is it?
I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole…
Everything is the same, but different,
Just keep swimming….
Long shelved away, traded for the quickening hamster wheel.
Guilt free exploration of creative dreams,
Ignite within my heart.
Dear almost first-home owner, before today’s settlement, please forward your latest payslip. You’re still employed…aren’t you…?
Here in the Midwest nothing has changed I am still sitting on my tractor waiting for rain to begin
I have lived my life, from the Cold War till now, hearing “Things will never be the same again.”
7pm. Table littered with weighty books, half-finished stories, unfinished crosswords, an empty diary. And a glass of red wine.
My cards have been flipped, my Aces to Twos. My home becomes my universe; will confinement spark my muse?
Connected together, isolated at home; toilet paper is gold and handshakes memories. We clap our medicos and appreciate webcams!
I miss my school, my friends. I miss strolling around target aimlessly. I miss real people. I miss normalcy.
Once upon a time, in the near distant past and near distant future, it felt incredibly like…. The End.
Elbow coughs and shakes
Grasping sanitised news.
Fear of strangers, doorknobs, handrails.
Somehow rising again.
New normal, not normal. Socially distancing, physically challenging. Self isolation, mental degradation, emotional desolation. Board games, bored games. Quarantine.
Somewhere in the world, someone is suffering much more than you are. Be thankful that you aren’t that person.
Guilty delight in confinement in my haven-home, darkened by existential angst, brightened by hope for a better morning-after world.
I never noticed how much dust could hide atop all the precious things I’ve worked so long to accumulate.
Crazy Odd Rationing Oppressive Numbing Alarming Virulent Isolation Remote Unreal Sadness Panic Anguish Nervous Despair Experimenting Miracle Inoculation Calm
The complex network that we have so carefully created is, in the end, incredibly fragile. And so are we.
My world just slowed to a gentle waltz and soon I’ll dance these new steps without watching my feet.
I have always told myself I only needed some alone time to become productive. Well, I am officially wrong.
Today I went to get food.
Talking to the cashier never felt so good.
Face-to-face contact lifted my mood.
Homeschool day. Child number three strokes my face. “Mummy, I thought only boys grew moustaches.” Time for self care.
Staying inside is mostly fine, but sometimes you just need to storm out and slam the door behind you.
Limitations, low lazy listless, lamenting long lists, laundry loads, loopy laws, learning, linger longer, loosely lounging, loving local – lucky!
A daily walk. Single file, passing with a wide berth. We nod and smile. We’re all in this together.
Quiet streets magnify autumnal winds. Belonging and communication pivots on technological connectivity. Basic values of life are reborn.
Working from home – frequent tea breaks, long lunches, walking the dog, cleaning the house and afternoon naps. Work? Sometimes.
Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside Inside
I could see and hear her. The pain in my heart makes me cry. You can’t hug a computer.
I’m frontline health – Covid dominates my days, with sweet escape at night: decompress, self-care, eat, rest, re-set. Groundhog Day.
A global pandemic
Try to decide what show to watch next
One small step for our planet
But a giant leap for mankind
Global humanity we may once again find.
A skeleton staff. The school is empty. In the absence of chaotic classrooms and lively playgrounds my heart aches.
The good old days were only a few weeks ago. The good NEW days are in the near future.
Bring others happiness every day,
Love family, laugh lots, get outdoors and play,
Everything will be okay,