COVID-19/Juxtapose, commentary by Phyllis Souza at
Wesley Tingey



written by: Phyllis Souza


The Virus

There was a virus called COVID-19. The world had changed. Hoarders, like wolves, came out of their dens. They prowled the aisles. Hands, grabbing anything, whether it was needed or not.

Mail orders postponed. No deliveries. Not that day, nor the next.

Some people’s clothes sagged off their shoulders. Confusion and suffering—mouths were drawn down behind a cover.


The Safeway

Six-thirty in the morning. Shoppers, gloved and masked, shivered while they waited in a long line outside of Safeway.

A homeless man shuffled by, going in the opposite direction. He stooped over, picked up a cigarette butt off the ground. Oblivious to the pandemic, he strolled over to a concrete planter box, sat on the ledge, and lit up the unsavory smoke. He laughed.

Like Saint Peter guarding the gates of heaven, a security officer stood at the doors, when seven bells rang, he let the souls of seniors slowly into the building.


A New Day

The fragrance of roses was replaced by disinfectant. Bugs and viruses were spreading all over the world.

I was tired– so damned tired. Turning off the hot water faucet in my kitchen, I reached for yet another clean towel. I wiped my already chapped hands.

Hiding my face in my palms, I wept. What if the water systems are contaminated?

Angels would flood the land with their tears and cleanse the world.

The sun would come out and shed warmth; its rays would light up the Earth. And the world wouldn’t come to an end.


Stockton, California, USA

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This publication is part 15 of 27 in the series Covid-19 Files