Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘I cry for humanity’

By Emily StearneyJana BlombergMadison KerstenPatrick Meadows

Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories hereSubmit your own here.

TO THE FUTURE ME

The world has changed. Will it ever be the same? This is such a different life from the one we knew. But then again, maybe this different won’t be so scary or bad. Just new. Sending love, courage, wisdom, and strength to the students, the parents, the workers, the grandparents, the scared and the weary, the calm and those finding rest. To the older generations who I hope are staying safe and to the younger generations who I have faith will still find a way to pursue everything they want to be. To the future you. To the future me.

— Madison Kersten (Shepherdstown, West Virginia)

Twenty and quarantined.

* * *

APRIL 7TH

We’ve hardly ever needed a reason to go out to eat. Birthdays and anniversaries, of course, but I’ve always preferred the smaller occasions – going for curry because just the two of us are home (none of my siblings like Indian food), or visiting the deli when his job takes him to my neighborhood. The experience is more than the food; a turmeric-yellow wall with mesmerizing Bollywood scenes on the TVs. Sandwiches passed over the counter, checkered floors and aisles of pastas and sauces.

My dad turned 54 today. Eating from Styrofoam boxes is dull in comparison, but we dare not abandon tradition.

— Emily Stearney (Chicago, Illinois)

Happier times; a vacation dinner in Mexico.

* * *

SENIOR YEAR

Final semester lost. Forced to leave campus. No more late nights living with my best friend. No last beautiful spring on campus. Graduation and senior art show are in question. No more passing friends on campus every day. No goodbyes to favorite professors. Had lasts without even knowing it. Senior year over. Classrooms now through a computer screen. Dining room becomes my art studio. Extracurricular activities consist of taking my dog for a walk. Only 2000 steps a day. No schedule or concept of time. My world has been turned upside down. Not how I pictured my last semester of college.

— Jana Blomberg (Plymouth, Minnesota)

My “school” turned upside down.

* * *

LAMENTING

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a crier. I get sad and happy at movies, books, and things a lot of people wouldn’t think someone would cry for. But I haven’t cried for this. I refuse. I cry for the friends and home I’ve been sent away from and I shall cry for those who have experienced the same. I will weep for the parents who are having difficulty feeding their children and the kids who won’t get to see their best friends for months. I don’t cry for COVID-19, I cry for humanity.

— Patrick Meadows (Franklin, Tennessee)

(Top photo: Writing in my sketchbook.)

———-

Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

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