Writing in a Time of Peril: March 27, 2020

The United States currently has 100, 640 confirmed cases and 1,541 deaths, an increase of 332 deaths, as of 6:36 pm on March 26 according to the Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard.

I pray to express myself with honesty and integrity.

I ask of myself to be loving and kind

To accept loving and kindness

To follow the leadership of those who are wise and share their wisdom and common sense with me

To reach out

To allow reaching in 

To connect

To allow connection

To be afraid

To be brave. 


Treasure your live and the lives of others.

Save your life and the lives of others.

Stay home.

Covid-19 is spread by people who do not have symptoms

Covis-19 is spread sneezing, coughing and breathing on or near another 

Keep your home and yourself as clean as possible. 

Engage in Physical Distance

Engage in social, emotional, and spiritual connection.

Upon leaving home or whenever in contact with others people and surfaces, wear gloves and a mask. 

Upon returning home remove clothing, disinfect shoes, place clothing in washing machine and launder immediately or place in hamper. Use gloves and mask when eventually laundering your outside clothing.

Shower immediately, including washing your hair.

Throw away packaging anyone else has touched or wipe down with disinfectant. Rewash hands.

Reheat any prepared foods before eating.

Stay informed by trusted media, sparingly, i.e.CDC, WHO, and reliable scientists and medical professionals.

Yes, take a walk, a bike ride, etc. while keeping physical distance.

Use social media to have dinner or a movie or a cocktail hour with your family and friends.

Covid-19 will not be mediated and the death rate will increase exponentially until we use the universal practices above, testing, quarantining, contact tracing, and repeating this process until we stop dying.

Continue to acknowledge and hold the horrific loss and grief of those known and unknown.

There will be few immediate ways to celebrate lives together, hold wakes or funerals or repasts. Let us use our limitless imaginations and an creativity to create and hold our families, our community, our country our world.

Value every life, those who have departed and those who remain. 

Use our same limitless imaginations, creativity, tenacity, courage, belief to remain conscious, feeling, laughing, crying, playing, remembering and doing our parts, not matter that we are apart. 

Remember every elected official or religious leader or business leaders who delayed and  refused life saving resources. All have blood on their hands. Orange Julius is awash in blood. 

Accept we cannot reliably depend on any consistent federal response and should there be one, it will be way too late.

Support everyone to use our national ingenuity, courage, tenacity, and determination to survive and thrive. 

Value and appreciate everyone who saves and serves lives; medical professionals, scientists, first responders, all workers who support the, grocery clerks, delivery people, municipal workers, all of the people who are required and needed to stay on their jobs while we stay home.

Treasure your life and the lives of others.

Save your life and the lives of others.

Ellen Voigt imagines into poetry voices from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

This is the double bed where she’d been born,
bed of her mother’s marriage and decline,
bed her sisters also ripened in,
bed that drew her husband to her side,
bed of her one child lost and five delivered,
bed indifferent to the many bodies,
bed around which all of them were gathered,
watery shapes in the shadows of the room,
and the bed frail abroad the violent ocean,
the frightened beasts so clumsy and pathetic,
heaving their wet breath against her neck,
she threw off the pile of quilts—white face like a moon—
and then entered straightway into heaven.

ELLEN BRYANT VOIGT | from Kyrie (1995), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is a book-length sonnet sequence exploring the lives of people affected by the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919. 

I’m go down my to-do list of selfcare: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home, except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

I put on Lizz Wright’s, Fellowship album. I listen to the whole album, but I repeat, “Presence of the Lord,” whenever it comes on. 

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA



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