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  • Erica Sioson

Story 01 Pandemic


Today she woke up crying. She dreamt she had a dog and she was crying and fighting people to not take it away from her. She never had a dog and never been a dog (nor any pet for that kind matter) kind of person and though she will consider getting a dog in the future, she is not considering now, she was surprised when she woke up crying because of a dog.


She did not want to get up that morning. But she was supposed to be working from home, so wiping her eyes dry, she decided to get up. She took her medicine, she had been sick for a while now, and brushed her teeth. She used to shower before she starts working on her laptop, when working from home was new and people were excited about it, but recently it does not really matter.


She sat down. She was working from home but there was really nothing to work on anyway. Her job was meaningless, especially given what’s happening now. In a day she would answer about three to four emails, if the day was particularly busy, she might even work on a file, she would read news about the pandemic and she would research obsessively about all the symptoms she has been having for the past two months.


She does not have The Disease. She has a sickness, something that has been plaguing her for months, something that came from something stupid she did and got complications after complications. Two procedures and one minor surgery after, what she is feeling now is a slight tingling in the underside of her tongue at the back of her throat, a feeling similar to one of the complications she had in the past month that launched these unending trips to the hospital. To say she is afraid is an understatement. She is frightened, what if this starts all over again? What if what she thought was the end is just the beginning? What if she doesn’t get well, what if she gets sick again, worse than the last time? So many what ifs.


When she swallows it was not as painful as that time three weeks ago, three weeks ago when her weight started falling, her face becoming thinner and longer, her hygiene eventually forgotten. She stopped caring for herself the minute she started worrying about herself. How many more days? How many more trips to the hospital before this, whatever this is, ends?

It would not have been this hard, if only there was no pandemic. She would be able to bring herself to the hospital, or take a medical leave and fly back to her home country to get proper treatment and get proper care from people who worry about her. But there is a pandemic and it is scary to go outside, much scarier to go to the hospital where all the sick people are, and impossible to find a flight to go back home to get proper treatment. Things are different now.


Most days she would be alright. But then there will be days like today when it is exceptionally hard –the pillows and the bed too much comfortable to get up from, too easy to get absorbed in all the negative news, too easy, comfortable even to just read up on symptoms after symptoms after symptoms that all end up in cancer –there are days like this when all she wanted to do was just sleep and probably dream. Perhaps she will find out if the dog got taken away.

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