Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories here. Submit 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)
* * *
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)
* * *
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)
* * *
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)
This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.
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