Amidst the spreading corona

Out here by the edge of the lake, where the bats flap on by and the foxes sneak through the night, ducks sleep at the bank while dogs step out into their backyards to take one last leak before going to bed on this cold summer evening. Televisions play warnings of the latest COVID-19 news or Netflix’s latest sci-fi yarn, and the women talk amongst themselves while the men squander their time away in whiskey and conspiracy. Up the stairs of these homes, children play with plastic toys, some made in China, which xenophobic paranoid mothers snatch from their little hands, spouting that you never know where it could strike from next. In closets, stacks of toilet rolls stand packed between old shoes and forgotten tuxes, a snippet of the hysteria sweeping the nation. And in the bathrooms, teenagers chat away on their phones with one another, whispering secret nothings into receivers, banned from physically seeing each other on a Saturday night. Precautionary measures for contagion that the other animals don’t need to bother with.

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