Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tuesday Slice: I'm just not there yet--another COVID diary entry


I'm Just Not There Yet

People in my circles 
are catching COVID
my Facebook newsfeeds
and text messages on my phone
filled with the sighs of the quarantined
thankfully, just sighs
as the triple vaccinations
do their job
leaving hospital beds unclaimed
by these people I cherish.

Many of the sighs come on the heels
of large family gatherings
trips on planes and friendly reunions
pictures of crowded bars
with glasses raised
and barefaced smiles.

I look at those stories
those pictures
they seem so foreign to me
as if they come from
another planet, 
unburdened by pandemic,
a silent "What are they thinking?"
throbbing in my head, on my tongue
I do not wish this illness on anyone
so I mute my thoughts
"like" the stories and pictures
because I hope
their momentary happiness
was worth their sighs
and know that 
even my avoidance
of such blithesome carousing
may not be enough
 to keep me from the same lament. 


  1. Your poem captures the human spirt continuum so well during this pandemic. Staying home to stay safe vs heading out to be with others. I like your word choices: barefaces, unburdened, blithesome. Thanks for sharing so honestly.

    1. Thank you, Sally; it feels like we're living in a time of "gray areas" when it comes to behavior. I know we are all trying to cope!

  2. Your poem expresses my thoughts exactly. I don't want to "blame" people for getting sick, but at the same time, I feel caution has taken a back seat to fun. Some people say "Why worry. Everyone's going to get it anyway." And like you, I don't wish it on anyone. I am in and out of schools each day that have high Covid numbers, so who knows if my triple vaccine will save me. There are so few guarantees these days.

    1. My husband thinks it's a "when", not "if" with Omicron, and I don't doubt the veracity in that statement. The illness itself may not be as dire when vaccinated, but the strain on the educational system is evident. Just don't want to be part of the problem, here!

  3. Yes! I definitely felt this way. But I have to confess that after being boosted I got a little relaxed. And sure enough I got COVID at the beginning of vacation and ended up not being able to spend Christmas with family...again!

    1. That had to be so frustrating, Vivian. I hope you are fully recovered! I question every little sneeze and cough now...sigh.

  4. Thanks for sharing this poem. It definitely is a confusing time, we all want desperately to live life but of course still want to be safe.

    1. It is all so gray, isn't it? And yet we must give as much grace as we can.

  5. Chris, once again I admire your honesty and, in this case, the effort of not rushing to judgment. So much of this COVID pandemic is a cautionary tale. We all grow weary of living it...yet we would protect the ones we love, and do not wish to be one more conduit of this virus that rages on. I am celebrated the "unclaimed hospital beds" in your circles even as I grapple every single day with covering for colleagues who are out. I know many of them tried to be careful. It is a challenge to redirect the mind and the heart to press on. You act with grace in the "likes" - I steer clear of the photos and the triggers. This is a powerful poem and pandemic artifact, my friend! Ongoing strength of spirit to you and wellness to all.

    1. Fran, this new round has placed such a strain on schools now that we are fully "in person". Lack of substitutes means support staff like you are filling in--which means your job isn't getting done. They are having to split classes with teachers out, placing students with other grade-level teachers, which disrupts routines and limits social distancing. I know that if I got sick, chances are they would just shut the library, or relegate services to checkout only when my half-time assistant is at the desk...and she wouldn't be able to then keep up with shelving, etc. It is a struggle not to be judgmental, and I try to default to grace mode.

  6. Chris, everyone I know wishes for COVID to be extinguished from our lives. It is such a threat that our entire family had to take a test before entering my daughter's house for Christmas and we missed New Year's Eve all together. My son picked up the horrible cold virus that my little granddaughters and my daughter got. His symptons were similar to COVID so on NYE we had to bring my son to a testing site as recommended by his doctor. He did not have COVID, thankfully.
    Yesterday, I heard many stories about COVID from friends. I, too, cringe at the thought that we all are going to get it. Even a cold like the one my family had lingers and causes sleepless nights. Thanks for sharing your poem and a peek into your COVID Diary.

    1. Thank you, Carol. Yes, we are all weary, and giving grace is about all we can do most days. We have received a COVID letter in our emails practically every day this week. One school had twenty teachers out; district students have started a petition to return to virtual, tired of split, overflowing classes and substitutes. Hoping the long weekend brings some respite!

  7. I have lost two high school classmates within the past two month because of this. So sad. A lot of people are doing the right things and still getting it. Frustrating is an understatement.