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Together, Alone: Community Voices Documenting Life in the Pandemic

Become part of this historical record, created in real-time documentation, by submitting an entry here. Submissions can be poetry, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, ruminations and reflections, or art and photography; all forms of expression documenting how we cope, survive, and live as our lives change. This blog will be a living document of these experiences, and will become an historical record that we will be able to look back on. Help us record this time through your personal lens.

Mar 27

Empty Shelves submitted by Gretchen Hill

Posted on March 27, 2020 at 9:48 AM by Jason Macoviak

The first time I saw the empty shelves at Safeway, I cried. I wandered through the store, brushing tears from my cheeks and then listening to my panicked brain squeaking “Don’t touch your face!” as I did so. No milk, no eggs, no bread or flour or yeast. No toilet paper, no paper towels. No chicken or ground turkey or broccoli or bananas. Suddenly, a shopping list was irrelevant. You can’t buy what you need, so you find a way to need what you can buy.

But I have seen photos of stores like this: photos from the USSR of the seventies, photos of the Great Depression. This is what life is like for so many people on this earth. The empty shelves have actually reminded me of how privileged my life is. I may be cash-strapped on a daily basis, but I live in a country where the bounty is easy to take for granted. Those bananas were grown a thousand miles from here, but I expect to find them every day. And I cry when I don’t.

So, in honor of the new normal, today I set my alarm for five a.m. in order to join the early morning line outside the Safeway. Susie opened the door for us right at six and we bee-lined to the paper goods aisle, where I saw packages of toilet paper for the first time in weeks. There were two people ahead of me, and I was appalled at how panicked I felt at the possibility that they would somehow get all of it. I forced myself to take only one package, to ensure that one more neighbor would have t.p. as well. There were bananas, there was broccoli, there was bread. Still no yeast, so I will be setting my alarm again. But no dividers on the conveyor belts in line. You can’t use your own bags anymore. And when I left the store at 6:30, the toilet paper aisle was empty again.
Mar 27

Stay Home in Bisbee submitted by Cathy Abramson

Posted on March 27, 2020 at 8:03 AM by Jason Macoviak

Staying Home in Bisbee with our sheepdog Annabelle. Our home is in Warren and was built in 1916.
Cathy Abramson
Mar 27

My Perspective Spinning Inside Out submitted by Jason Macoviak

Posted on March 27, 2020 at 7:34 AM by Jason Macoviak

Climbing Out