When this is all over,
like the trifling troubles of our early days;
when the quarantines are lifted and
we can once again be social without distance,
when Covid-19 has become a boogeyman of legend,
we will have to tell
those who have yet to come
Where we focus our stories will guide the narrative.
Will it be the overused, extreme adjectives
pushed by the press?
Uncertain, unprecedented, shocking.
Will it be based on the buzzwords?
Pandemic, quarantine, market loss, layoff.
Or will we tell tales of care for one another?
Empathy empowering each other.
Of distilleries pivoting production to provide
hand sanitizer for first-responders.
Of the medical professionals who
accept the risk and put the care of
others before themselves
despite the exhausting toll of exposed hours.
Of the small sacrifices we made to
ensure the health of those around us.
Of the games we played and the
daily distractions enabling us to endure our isolation.
Of the resilience of the human spirit, and
its ability to adapt and overcome to create
a new normal.
When we describe this time to the next generation,
there will be one simple, but difficult question to answer;
not “What happened?”, but
“Did we learn anything from it?”
by Erik Shinker