Quarantine Tales: Week 1

Welcome to Quarantine Tales. Here, for work submitting in the first week, you’ll find poetry, art, photography, fiction, and nonfiction around topics that related to quarantine and social distancing.

Thank you for supporting these amazing writers.

R. R. Noall

Enemy, by Peter Galligan

What is killing us is invisible,

It is no virus, no specific particle,

And no instrument of science can plunge deep enough into our atoms

To reveal what is killing us

What makes us sick is not present,

It is, at the very least, a moment ahead of us,

Stepping ever in front, begging us to follow it blindly,

What is making us sick

What is killing us

Is not present

What it is that we flame against?

Intolerant dark pools that we draw from,

We rise with it and disintegrate by convection,

This stress that works inside out, what is our enemy?

It is a vacuum of ascribed properties, impenetrable and infuriating,

Taunting us behind the curtain of an event horizon,

The thing we get hooked by and flung by,

What is this which ails us?

What is killing us

Holds power over us

Is invisible

Doesn’t now exist

Doesn’t rise to meet us

Disappears and scatters

Like ashes under the radiation of the sun

And will kill us again and again

And is invisible.

Find Peter Galligan on Twitter.

“The Morning my Friend Died” by Stuart Gunter

“The Morning my Friend Died” by Stuart Gunter

Find more from artist Stuart Gunter on Instagram.

Sheltering in Place Without a Place, by Bonnie Carlson

     The news zings through the encampment like a live electrical wire: the governor says everyone in the state must shelter in place, stay at home. Stay home? the woman thinks. Ha! What home? 

“Mama, what are we going to do?” asks nine-year-old Maya. Her face is pinched, and she wrings her hands. With no school and the library closed for weeks now and few other kids in the encampment, she and her sister and brother have nothing to do and squabble all day long. “I miss school,” she whines, brushing her tangled brown hair away from her dirty face. “I miss books.”

“I know you do, love.” Not to mention, no free breakfast and lunch anymore. If only they could find a spot in a shelter, with Wi-Fi, the girls might not fall behind in school.

“Help your brother and sister find their shoes. It’s a long walk to dinner, so take them to the bathroom first.”

“But it’s so stinky in there,” Maya whines.

The woman ignores her protest and hands her some newspaper. The toilet paper in the city’s Porta Potties is long gone, so people have resorted to torn up pieces of newspaper. But even that has become hard to find. She remembers when there used to be hand sanitizer more than a month ago. With no place to wash their hands, many residents of the encampment are sick. Sometimes the woman can’t sleep at night with all the retching and coughing. Last night the man in the next tent complained that it felt like an elephant sat on his chest.

Maya lifts tiny Carlos into her arms, grabs five-year-old Elena’s hand, and heads off to the Porta Potties. Both little ones start to whimper. “I don’t have to, go,” Elena says. “And I’m not hungry.”

The woman jumps back after a brown rat scurries by and turns her attention inside their tent—tarps actually, jury-rigged together with twine and rope—wondering when she’ll have a chance to wash their dirty bedding and clothes. She picks up her husband’s T-shirt and inhales his aroma. When Maya yells, “Stop!” the woman looks up to see her slap Elena on the arm. Where did she learn that? the woman wonders, never having hit her children. But that was the least of her problems, with people around them doing drugs and having sex openly. Who knows what else her children have seen?

Night has fallen. Through dark, deserted streets they walk to a soup kitchen sponsored by a local church, the only one still open. A long line has already gathered outside. When they enter, a man sprays sanitizer on their hands, and relief settles over the woman’s face. The dimly lit room is packed with people of all ages and races. 

Other volunteers—what’s left of them—urge them to sit six feet apart at rows of wooden picnic tables. How absurd. With people crowded three to five or more in side-by-side makeshift tents, who has the luxury of staying three feet apart, much less six feet? “Why can’t I sit next to you, Mama?” Maya asks. 

“It’s all right, you can,” the woman replies. She holds Carlos in her lap, while skinny Elena clings to her. A bearded old man with shaggy gray hair inhabits a heavy wool coat, despite the heat, a spectral figure who stares at them with hollow eyes from six feet away.

“Kids, you have to eat,” the woman says. She persuades Carlos to try a bite of meatloaf, but he spits it out. The woman sighs. “Fine,” she says and scrapes his food onto her dish. No point in wasting it.             

A volunteer, a middle-aged woman clad in rubber gloves and a face mask, looks exhausted. The woman points at the puny piece of meatloaf on her plate, flanked by a small dab of mashed potatoes and anemic-looking peas. “Why are the portions so small tonight?”             

“Because donations are way down.” The volunteer wipes her sweaty brow with her elbow. “And there are so many more of you, people we’ve never seen.” She sighs deeply and moves on.

Finally, Carlos eats a few bites of potato but refuses the peas. The woman can’t believe how the numbers at the soup kitchen have mushroomed in the past weeks as people have lost their jobs.            

The woman calls after the volunteer and smiles. “Still, I’m grateful that you help us.”

The volunteer glances back over her shoulder and flashes her a smile.            

“When is Daddy coming back?” Maya asks for the hundredth time.            

Elena whines. “I miss Daddy.”            

“I know you do, and I don’t know,” the woman says wearily, failing to hide her impatience. Three weeks ago, her husband left in search of work and maybe a motel room for the family. Her last prepaid phone with Wi-Fi ran out two weeks ago, so she has no idea when—or if—he’ll return.            

After the family empties their plates, they trudge back to the encampment through vacant streets, past shuttered shops and restaurants that used to donate leftovers to the homeless. The woman stares up at the clear, starry sky and wonders how this will end. Whether her husband is sick, whether he’ll come back, when her girls will return to school. How will she survive the next four months with them in the filthy encampment until school starts again?

A police car pulls up beside them. Through an open window a cop yells, “What are you doing on the streets? You should be home, inside. Don’t you know you can be fined three hundred dollars for being out on the street during the lockdown? You could go to jail!”            

The woman sighs. She’s been to jail before, for unpaid parking tickets. At least there’d be a roof over my head, she thinks, and three meals a day. But what about the children?

They return to the tent. Maya opens the flap and sees a man in the dark. “Daddy!” she squeals.

Read more from Bonnie Carlson, and find her on Twitter.

A Note, by Korey Wallace

I am unsure I can clean the house, again.

Unsure I can hear more about Trump

Or false medicinal graft cures being endorsed

By celebrities lacking conscience

Or at least to the degree I am hoping for. 


I seem to be able

To listen to the rain.

Watch the city

Tucked in on itself.


It’s odd 

how it 

delivers space

for all

that is luminously



Slippery smooth bird conversations.

Snap speculating tree limbs.


Streets solitude soaked.


The world given over to itself

Right there

Where I light my cigarettes drink my coffee

With or without toilet paper.

Walking Through Lockdown, by Joyce Cleere Butler

I decide to go for a walk in the evening. Ireland is currently on two week lock-down due to Covid-19. My place of work has shut down for the duration, so I’m spending my days at home. No doubt some fresh air will do me good. I live in a very large housing estate and always enjoy the initial ramble down the main driveway, with its clusters of daffodils and trees lining each side of the avenue, coming to life now in the early Spring. I feel it in the way the branches move excitedly, embracing each joyous breeze.

But then, as I leave the housing estate behind and turn onto the footpath on the main road I notice, hanging low in the evening atmosphere, covering everything, a silence. There are several other people out walking, some on their own, others in groups of mostly twos, but no-one is talking. Only the birds, communicating so clearly, it’s like hearing them for the first time. They have found their voice amongst and despite all of this. It’s a relief to know that nature is carrying on in the way it should, without the need to apologize to the rest of the human race. Singing and chirruping through this strange something, while we are still adjusting. Our oppressive fear does not bother the Blackbirds, Sparrows and lone Robin I have passed just now.The Starlings have landed and not been quarantined. And It makes me happy to know that they, unlike ourselves, are not under threat. I believe their instincts must tell them these feelings belong to humans alone.

But Spring is more beautiful in silence, enhancing everything. The barks and branches of trees are redrawn as much as they are reborn. The white flowers of the Apple Blossoms on the avenue communicate more openly now that we have finally fallen quiet, what a relief it must be to them to know, that we see them now, much more precisely.

However, we are not ourselves, even though we have walked these roads around our homes before. There is a reversal of roles now, with the birds. We have become watchful and guarded, especially when others approach. What was once a refreshing walk has become full of questions. What part of the path should I veer to? Left or right? What if I bump into them and catch it? Are we still two metres apart? Should I hold my breath as they pass? These thoughts are what we are all thinking and sharing. Such a sad way of caring. There is no acknowledgment as we pass each other, our eyes, avert downward with no familiar nod of the head. The air is so thick with it, I feel I need the sword of my spirit to try and thrash through. Even the cars move along in shadow.

As I walk back up the main driveway towards home, the air becomes slightly lighter and I know that when I pass through my own front door, it will be better.

Find Joyce Butler on Twitter.

Spring Sonnet, by Sam Kealhofer

An existential darkness looms

with hydrangeas still in bloom–

idling is simple pretense

while we try to keep our distance.

boredom creeps up from behind

while I am crammed up inside–

but Spring’s warmth presses upon the pane,

I open it up and smell fresh rain

then the unfurling in the flowerbeds

and gaze upon a cardinal’s red.

Perhaps the medley of a sparrow’s song

is what I needed all along.

So how could I be stuck at home

with all the world outside my window?

Clock Watching, by AM Roselli

Two greedy hands fold my paper skin. They tick in fast-slow circles. Like a lost time traveler, I

wait. The woodpecker has already been here. He’s what the gods sent. After all, I’m not

Prometheus. I don’t deserve an eagle to dine daily on my immortal liver, only a woodpecker to

jackhammer my head at 6 am. I’ve lived fifty-six years. Age makes me old. Though I like

picking mangoes from the box, my children insist on doing the shopping. Their concern straps

me to an invisible chair bolted to the floor. And this morning, while my son and daughter sleep,

tired from their youth, I wait for the clock to strike 8:30 am. Sometimes she’ll answer the phone.

Other times, when her voice transmigrates elsewhere, she can’t reach the receiver. My beautiful

mother was young until the eighth week after my young father died in his sleep. Though she

likes picking tomatoes from the box, she lies in a bed bolted to the floor. Her concerned children

placed her there. In that bed. In that home. Last month, yesterday, and this morning, I can’t kiss

her cheek, or rub her broken body with liniment for the endless pain. Three more hours till those

greedy hands arrive. I search out the window for the woodpecker. I hear him every morning even

when I can’t see him.

Learn more about AM Roselli and find them on Twitter.

State of Emergency, by Henri Bensussen

“The tech pullback has just exasperated

the ghost town that is San Francisco right now.”

Laurie Thomas, SF restaurant owner, quoted in

the Press-Democrat, March, 2020

“It’s been brutal,” she says. Enervating. The

deserted streets eviscerated, no one in tech

out buying lunch. This exhausting pullback

due to Corvid-19 epidemic morbidity has

decimated the city’s extensive work force just

banished them home, everyone exasperated

with sheltering, even as it evaporates, the

city itself lost in limbo, an extortionist ghost

flitting through its decimated home town

exfoliating disease, death, or a loneliness that

erodes hope. The city’s exaggerated history is

an epic of worsts: quakes, fires, murder—San

Francisco no exception, our lovely San Francisco

of which we infectiously sing, so exotically right

in normal times, but nothing’s normal now.

“They’re Burning Fires by The River”, by Stuart Gunter

They’re Burning Fires by The River, by Stuart Gunter

Find more from artist Stuart Gunter on Instagram.

No Time for Spoon River, by Paola Caronni

“Dear grandparents, it is difficult to let you go like this. You have always told us that without each other you could not live. So, one after the other, just two days apart, you are both in Heaven. We are heartened to think that now you are finally together again and can hug each other once more.” (Dante and Angelina’s grandchildren from Clusone, Bergamo, Italy)



He is gone, in peace.


Quietly, ‘suddenly’, 

She has left us.



And nothing else,

For fear of mentioning 

The terrible word.


You died alone,

Your soul passing through ventilators, 

Forced breath.

No hand to hold yours,

No whispers, no hugs.


Now, you’re with the other 156, 

Smiling at us from the obituary photos 

Filling up the eleven pages

Of the local newspaper.

A few printed lines

The only way to say

We loved you.


Did you comb your hair 

Before taking that picture?

Did you wear your favourite lipstick?

Did you use that little square of you

For a new ID or passport,

Or driving licence?


Your coffins line up, 

Along the four walls of the church.

I guess you beckon to each other now,

Sharing memories of grandkids’ first steps,

Children’s graduations, 

Fiancées’ withered flowers or rings.


Frankincense and myrrh flutter in clouds, 

Graze the marble walls,

The stained-glass windows, the cross,

The holy water.

Baptisms, marriages and funerals

Have the same scent here.


Prayers murmured by the priest 

Echo among the forty who departed,

And the few ones 

Still kneeling.


At the cemetery,

Only the mourners’ eyes speak.

Mouths and noses are covered,

For the dark evil rages in disguise.


Sealed corpses queue, 

As if buying 

Groceries from heaven’s store

Rather than minutes, or the flicker 

Of a quick goodbye before burial.


Not far, 

There’s heat going on, fire,

Non-stop burning,


Like on the ghats of Varanasi,

Without the chanting, the ablutions,

Without the river Ganges 

Welcoming you in its arms.


They say we are dust

And to dust shall return.

Learn more about Paola Caronni

It was on Day 30 that the internet went down. . . ., by Josef Krebs

It’s a lousy evening

In a fetid week

In a rancid month

That can’t seem to get it right

For one moment

In front of another

But that’s March

In this year of the rat

Presidential election

Of disease and ill weather

All exacerbated by pragmatic necessity

Climate controlled by bad winds

Called upon in witches political cauldrons

That tell of power

To come

And loss inevitably to follow

Find Josef Krebs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Under a Raging Pink Moon by Stuart Gunter

Under a Raging Pink Moon by Stuart Gunter

Find more from artist Stuart Gunter on Instagram.

I Spy, by Joe Barca

siblings playing tag on sidewalks

Venice swans taking the canals back

love planted in a vegetable patch

pets worn as life jackets

poetry read on Zoom chats

families sewing face masks

goats picnicking on the tarmac

silver linings found in backpacks


hope cannot be hijacked

Read more from Joe on Twitter and Instagram.

People are Burning Fires by the River, by Stuart Gunter

People are burning fires by the river.

The moon is out, pink and full.

Is there anything I can do besides

send you pictures of moonlit trees

and distract you with birdsong?

The easy energy of the musician

holding court in the firelight with a weathered

old guitar and hope are dangerous things:

a passive hope is not effective:

turning into an excuse to do nothing.

They dance by the fires, someone sings.

I smell the wood smoke and wonder if they

think about Rimbaud or

Neruda in this new time:

In the dawn, armed with a burning patience,

we shall enter the splendid cities.

Burning patience is what we are armed

with, to the teeth. But walking by the river,

I am becoming impatient. River and moon

and old poets and fires will be what is left to guide me.

Find more from artist Stuart Gunter on Instagram.

you could have slept through it being inside so long, by Tom Pescatore

with the rain last night

a sense of static against the pane


you could have slept through it

being inside so long    becoming




if not for the window’s lack

of opacity to        the crumbling reality of the

current natural     reality


even the trash cans

become soaked in the purge


sitting as solitary sentries on

the vacant street     soaking

up the orange glow


of the dripping lamps


illuminating the  softening

concrete     and fleshy gutters

beneath their plastic feet

Find Tom on Twitter and Instagram.

Arm’s Length, by Jade Fletcher

Follow Jade on Instagram and Youtube

Pandemic, by Karina Lutz

No children sit in classrooms right now

but if you asked for a show of hands:

“how many of you like butterflies better than caterpillars?”

the vote would certainly go for flight,

for progress, for nested systems,

for systems’ increasing complexity over time.

A handful might prefer what could be held in the hand

easily, without injury, might prefer

slowness. Stick-to-me-ness.

And what would be your point, teacher?

That democracy rules?

Please stay in your chair,

but I yearn to fly, too?

Would it be: inevitability?

That ontology follows phylogeny?

Or would it be the rights of the minority:

to love that child,

mud still caking between her fingers,

who’d say, “the chrysalis,

the soup!”

for what else, before changing form, dissolves

to liquid, to hopeless disintegration,

to a sack of goo?

Perhaps that is what we are now:

reduced to a soup of encoded, inaudible

instructions from our ancestors,

all in a fragile, tentative sack

without which we will be nothing.

Find more from Karina on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

How to Watch the Evening News, by Eileen Collins

We’ve disagreed on many political issues.  Most, actually, but he’s funny and kind and a good dancer, so I tried not to let it bother me. Now though, when we watch the evening news his incessant commentary infuriates me and I yell at him. I curse and slam things and have even called him names. Idiot. Asshole. I tell him I’m sorry, but the oppressive cloud of discontent lingers ominously. When he does that thing where he points his finger and starts mansplaining I lose it. I’ve taken to laughing and telling him he looks like a rotund Bernie Sanders. That usually shuts him up for a while and it’s better than cursing at him. 

Over the past three tumultuous years I’ve maintained friendships with some, and distanced myself from others well before hearing the term social distancing. Some, even family members, have distanced themselves from me. But this is my husband, and we made those vows; in sickness and in health. While we have no symptoms of the coronavirus, our marriage is not well. 

Would this quarantine be easier, I wonder, if I were single? If it were just me and the dogs? 

No, I’m sure of it. Although our house is small, we each have our own space where we can retreat. I won’t change his mind and he’ll never convince me that he’s right. We agree that we’re not leaving the house for at least the next few weeks, possibly longer, not even to buy milk or eggs. I may have to drink my coffee black and THAT will really piss me off.

If I think of the other side, his point of view, I realize that he is as frustrated as I. We don’t know another couple like us, although I’m sure there are many. Most of our couple-friends are on the same team. My husband and I met late in life. Not the first marriage for either of us, we have no history of raising children together, family vacations, decades of arguments, anger and compromise. Will whatever force brought us together be enough to hold us there? That’s up to us. I miss laughing with him. And dancing. I especially miss the dancing. Tomorrow, instead of watching the six-o-clock news, I’m going to push back the sofa and put on some music. Then later, after he’s gone to bed, I’ll watch the late news alone, cursing quietly, so not to wake him. 

 Find more from Eileen on Twitter

Doldrums, by Madison Gill

We set out on quarantine-

sea with full-bellied sails

nineteen days ago


Now, the wind 

has died


The last amoeba of charm

about the situation has long been

swabbed clean from the decks 


These are the doldrums when 

we take a shower just for

something to do,


kill an hour in front 

of the mirror getting ready for 

another day of nothing –


all dressed up and nowhere

to go but back up the crow’s 

nest to keep a weather eye out 


for any end to our suffering 

that might be taking shape 

beyond the fog


Days when the water’s winking 

eye grows more and more 



Suddenly, a bird makes all our 

weary heads turn when it plunges 

into the living room window


Its fanned, feathered outline

preserved in a film of grime

on the glass


I dip my sun-blackened hand

in the foam retreating around

its broken body


My hungry-eyed crew 

gathered round


We envy this poor creature

purely its wings 


wasted on the window’s 

deceiving mirage of trees 


The cruel irony of something 

free dashed to feathers against 

the salt cliff of a prison wall


Thinking this was the side

to be on


I say a prayer for my fellow

fallen sailor, then string it

around my neck.

Find more from Madison on Instagram and Facebook

Shape of Your Mouth, by Shawn Aveningo-Sanders

Sometimes when I hear your voice,

I imagine the shape of your mouth

as you form the words,

each syllable,

the crispness of consonants,

mellow vowels     oooozing     between.


I remember the shape of your mouth

sharing heirloom tomatoes over the sink,

juice dribbling down our chins,

I, reaching across, to wipe yours with my fingertips, 

you, catching mine with your tongue,

salt of flesh pairing with the ripe fruit.


I remember the shape of your mouth,

as you leaned across for our first kiss,

lips adjusting for the fit,

space between     tightening,

tiny pocket of air we shared.

How the whiskey lingered

on your lips, and I

surprisingly liked its taste.

Drunk from your kisses,

an addiction I choose not to overcome,

the intoxication     so pure.


Yes, I remember the shape of your mouth

each time we venture out 

  to the store

  or to take a walk 

wearing our matching masks—

knowing      that behind yours

  is the most brilliant, kissable smile. 

Read more from Shawn on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

At Risk, by Alpheus Williams

My wife’s cancer had metastasized to her liver.  The surgeon and treatment were at Chris O’Brien Life House, a branch of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital dedicated to cancer treatment. Hospital and surgeon had an excellent reputation.  It was hope. 

Cancer is insidious, always on your back, on your mind. You cling to one another through the night and hope.

It’s a six-hour drive from our village to Sydney.  Before we left we stocked up in preparation for our return.  Pulses, rice, pasta toilet paper, soap, things for the freezer.  I  ordered face masks online.  Hopefully they would be there on our return. The news was out about the Covid-19 pandemic. It was early yet but it was only a matter of time before it hit Australia. Our age and my wife’s cancer put us at risk.  We were ahead of the game.  

Our last trip to Sydney was months ago so that my wife could attend her school reunion. Bushfires were beginning. Fires got worse.  We cut our visit short and left for home.  My wife closely monitored bushfire reports and plotted a longer and more circuitous route home.  She was right. The coastal highway was closed later that day because of fires. Our detour took us inland through rural regions of New South Wales at a time extended drought. Farmlands were tender dry and spark ready.  

It took us more than eight hours to get home.

More than three months of the worst bushfires in Australian history followed.  Smoke choked the air. We were constantly on the alert.  Our tiny fishing village has many elderly folks.  People who have given up their working residents and retired to holiday homes, with rainwater tanks, onsite sewage and a single road in and out.  The only escape was to make our way to sea and wait it out.  Our sunsets blushed deep hazy red.  Smoke filled our skies. People coughed a lot, had trouble breathing. There were no stars at night. Our government, pro-coal and climate action resistant, was not prepared and even slower to act. When the fires broke out our Prime Minister left for holiday in Hawaii.  Public criticism brought him reluctantly home but he and his government had little idea what to do and had cut funding to those services that did.   The fires came close. We were lucky.  Other communities were not,  lost homes and lives, many were volunteer firefighters.

*          *          *

We arrived at our accommodation two days before my wife’s admission to hospital, leaving nothing to chance.  Our small unit overlooked Missenden Road in Camperdown.  It’s a busy inner-city street lined with trees and old sandstone buildings that provide accommodation for students attending the University of Sydney.  The hospital was a short walk away to the medical precinct. We had breakfast at a little café on the corner close by.  Dinner at a Thai Restaurant below the unit and a lunch a beer at the Alfred Hotel.  

*          *          *

Two days later in the late afternoon, they rolled my wife into surgery.  Our nephew’s ex-girlfriend insisted on coming down if for nothing else but to look after me while my wife was in surgery.  While our nephew may not have appreciated her virtues, we did.  She adopted us and we adopted her.  We stopped at the Alfred Hotel on the way home and had a late lunch and I had enough pints of local brew to ease my angst. She watched television on the couch and napped while I went into the bedroom collapsed and slept for two hours, longer and harder than I had in weeks.  She told my wife later she got me drunk but I think I pretty much did that on my own.  

The surgeon called about eight o’clock that evening.  It was a four-hour surgery and his last for the day.  He said my wife would be in recovery for at least another hour and that we could visit after that.  The surgery was a success. He removed sections of the liver, was happy with the result.  I was overwhelmed. 

“We love you doctor”, I said.  It seemed appropriate. He laughed.  I think he was pleased with himself and so he should have been and I have little doubt he was bone tired.

*          *          *

My wife spent two days in Intensive Care.  She remembers little of it.  I remember a fair bit.  The constant monitoring and care of nurses, the bank of complicated equipment and complex network of tubes that ran in and out of her.

I visited daily.  She visually improved. In the evening after hospital visits.  I poured a double scotch over ice with a small dash of soda, looked out over the leafy street and watched people walking along the footpath in the evening, exercising dogs, walking home, going to work at the hospital.  E-bike delivery riders with their huge insulated backpacks cruised down the streets delivering food. Jet contrails faded in the evening sky. I took a picture each night on my phone of the scotch on the table and my feet up on the rail and texted my wife.  

Bitch, she responded.

It was our little joke.  I was home and safe.  She was in the hospital and just survived a major surgery.  Things were good in the world. Both of us were hanging to get back to our quiet village and our dog.

At the beginning, there were maybe one in ten people on the street wearing masks.  Daytime traffic was heavy and there was the regular noise of large passenger jets flying overhead to Sydney airports.   I was woken in a panic at night at their low thunderous approach overhead.  The building shook.  Worry made sleep reluctant to return.  

*          *          *

The last day of our stay I picked up my wife from the hospital. We were there for ten days. Things had changed.  The café on the corner was closed.  The Alfred Hotel was closed. The Thai Restaurant only served take away.   On the street, people wearing masks had increased to at least four in ten.  Hospitals placed barricades with people monitoring travel details and checking temperatures of visitors. Hospital staff wore masks. Contrails disappeared in the evening skies along with the steady influx of passenger planes.  There were fewer cars, more bicycles.  

We left early in the dark avoiding heavy city traffic.  Drove through the morning keen to return to the quiet life in the village and our dog.  Isolation is not so hard in a beautiful place, with a dog and the person you love.

Find more from Alpheus via their website or on Twitter