Jane survived Covid-19. Her roommate, Elida, did not.

“I‘m not going to start the blame game … except to blame the government for sabotaging the CDC and science.”

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Stills from Jane’s video.

Jane’s first symptoms manifested on November 6. She tested positive on the 10th, and her husband, David, was presumed positive as well. …


Dr. Leslie Hayes took every precaution, but she still caught COVID — her thoughts on contagion, masks, the vaccine, and the holidays.

“The virus had gone through 50 people before I got it. Many of them took precautions and then just got unlucky, but some of them were careless or didn’t think the rules applied to them …”

Just before Thanksgiving, Leslie caught COVID.

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Alexandra Blum, “The Third Wave.” Mixed media, November 2020.

So far, it has been a “mild” case, but mild COVID is still quite unpleasant. As I write, I am on Day 10 of symptoms, which have included fatigue, shortness of breath, a horrible sore throat, and a runny nose. …


“… I don’t know if his hands are moving

but I bet they are somehow I’d feel

washed over like that too and be so

proud of us”

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who we were when

.

Isn’t it a great country he asks me

as we cross the Panhandle

for the second time in three days

I suppose I answer but

why would you say that

right here right

.

This paved road he says

through these fields and

trucks carrying every imaginable

somewhere many trains you think

we passed in both directions between

these poles the government

look at them put up a long time ago

just to bring electricity so these…


A young family takes a risk to return from abroad.

“In the last few years, when I’ve gone abroad it has become an increasingly bigger test of courage to state I’m from the U.S.”

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The New York Times maintains an interactive daily global virus tracker at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html.

Another father was there with two kids: one a toddler the same age as my daughter, keen to push his own stroller; the other was in primary school, huddled over her phone. We got to talking, as people so often do now when emerging from lockdown, and because we were non-white people in an English city. …


A pandemic and other global breakdowns inspire a visual journal of diverse styles and influences.

“I think for me what is interesting about this series of work is the diversity of voices within myself.”

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“Vitriol.”

On her website, Alexandra describes her goals as an artist: “I am interested in capturing the moment of seeing when something changes and the magic in the everyday. Hiraesh — a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home that maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past is essential to my work. My interior world is of memories of childhood, books, songs, and stories. …


We give thanks for good work in a difficult time.

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Jefferson Davis statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Photograph by Gregory Weatherford.

PROSE

I Got Grown,” a memoir by Joe Milan, Jr.: A young man begins work where others’ lives end.

On learning that I should sacrifice myself for the good of the public,” by Lise Haines: from the author’s COVID journals. …


It’s as welcoming as a mother, but none of this was personal.

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When a tsetse fly

-

chews your skin with its scissor teeth, through delicate capillaries for the sweet stain of red, it does so completely in earnest.

-

It ushers in the flagellate protozoan Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Those misshapen parentheses swim — and they must swim — through passageways, the secrets of your body. The tsetse fly is long gone by the time your central nervous system starts to stutter.

-

A child catching her breath over the steep hill of a consonant.

-

What the doctors call sleeping sickness is to the tsetse fly nothing more than the squeal of a hawk catching a barn mouse. …


Nobody wants to live with a corpse …

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Screaming at the Brooklyn Bridge

After Robert Lowell’s “Waking in the Blue”

*

I weigh one hundred and five pounds

after my New York breakfast

of vanilla Soylent, all I can keep down these days, thanks

to the anti-depressant. I swallow it, beige smoothie,

every four to six hours.

SSRI? Every twenty-four.

*

My roommate asks if I will eat something.

No, a real something,

and I do.

Nobody wants to live with a corpse.

I want to show him — all of them —

strut around this city, skin melting off bones, screaming, “I am here!”

to the Brooklyn Bridge, all 14,680 tons of her. …


Going meds-free when the world is having a major depressive episode.

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pikist.com.

“Maybe depression is a normal response to a global pandemic. We don’t really have benchmarks for such an event. If I get down, what can I use to help me bounce back?”

I am lying on my back, watching my husband put on his pajamas. I have brushed my teeth and turned out my light.

“That was a good episode,” he says, pulling on his flannel PJ pants. “The scene when the brother and his wife…” He trails off, chuckling.

Oh god, I think. He is laughing about a scene on the show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist in which Zoey’s brother admits to his wife that he has been counting — down to the hour — since the last time they had sex. …


What to do with what we have ordered.

“I said, Fix me.”

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Amazon Package

.

I wanted a thing in the shape of a Yom Kippur fast, smelling

of hands clasped in anguish. I bought it online.

The package slid up and down in various directions

.

on black belts in one of Amazon’s famous fulfillment centers

outside a major city. Philadelphia. Baltimore. Columbus, Ohio.

A computer scanned and tracked its progress.

.

It was shipped to me by average humans with choppy beards,

braids in their hair, or buns. As their system weighed

the ephemeral to ensure my order was correct, I wondered

.

Did I want this? Too late. Bed frames. Beauty products. …

About

Broad Street Magazine

An interdisciplinary magazine of nonfiction narratives and artwork.

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