Life in the Time of Corona page for West Flordia Literary Federation

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Life in the Time of Corona

Within weeks after March 11, 2020 World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, West Florida Literary Federation offered its writers a catharsis. By April, regional writers were submitting words and images to preserve this time in history. The ongoing project began with Phase I, a special edition of The Legend published in May. It featured more than thirty juried submissions. Life in the Time of Corona continues with Phase II, updated as submissions are accepted. Here are the voices of health care workers, poets, essayists, historians, and the images of artists and photographers, documenting this time in Northwest Florida's history. The ongoing project ends with the advent of a vaccine or declaration by the World Health Organization.

Only 2 Things

Mandy Fernandez

Jade Sea


“I can only think of two things,” she said.
“What two things did you think of?” I asked, clueless.
“There’s only been two good things that have happened to me this year,” she replied.
I pause. I lose my breath for a moment.
I look at her in surprise and wonder what’s on her mind.
She smiles a sad smile. She names her two things.
“I’ve become closer with my sister.” That’s one.
“I made a new friend, online, Lydia.” That’s two.
Her words cause a small crack in my heart.
She is turning 13 in a few days. This should be a wonderful time.
I feel so old and tired this year. Some days I hang on by a thread.
I forget how patient she has been through this pandemic.
I stay busy taking care of all the necessary things or worrying.
She is looking at me for comfort. She is awaiting a response.
I think quickly, trying to gather my racing thoughts.
“Well, the year’s not over yet,” I say hopeful. “I’m sure you’ll get number three.”
I smile at her, hoping my smile doesn’t look sad too.
Hoping that she’ll believe me. That I believe me too.
I leave the room and say my prayer. I repeat it.
Dear God, please, let there be a third good thing for her.

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