The Pandemic State

Visual metaphor. Domestication, shelter, desolation, isolation, etc.

A tangle of critical unknowns has arrested us– 

the path and lethality of an invisible bug.

The microscopic alien suffocates us, 

we who cannot help but hold each other. 

We only suffocate the virus if we withhold,

stay put, and

stay hidden (from each other). 

This is Nature’s most basic defense.

Can we coordinate our withholding?

The virus is winning a bet on the race between body and mind:

the time it takes the body to reject the virus, and 

the duration the body can resist social contact. 

Every time we make contact is another chance for the virus to take a life. 

We have never been so alone in our homes. 

We have always interacted. 

Never before have we so universally, so strongly withheld. 

We have lost our jobs and freedom.

We are left staring at the clock.

We are waiting for answers and endings.

How lonely.

The virus has taken hundreds of thousands of loved ones. 

We do not bury them, afraid of burying more. 

How humbling. 

There is a fever in millions of heads, trying to break this virus. 

Its symptoms are the chest-pains of suffering, 

the restlessness of creativity, the soreness of working overtime.

With tools and faith, our scientists may tilt the odds of the bet. 

A strategy to win the race despite the limits within.

How human.

Yet the minds of other restless bodies fight scientists, too. 

We have caved for that closeness we crave,

for those social habits, valuable or mundane. 

We cling to the belief that the bet is overstated,

that the invisible virus is hardly threatening.

How animal.

How peculiar, 

to question the hard work of those that protect you, 

in desperate times when you need scientists most.

Please, be still. 

The unknown will be unraveled soon, and 

you can return to believing your life is not 

held up by others, and 

you are free.

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