Emerging From Quarantine

When my youngest was just over a year old and not yet walking, I was at a child’s birthday party around a pond. I sat her to play on a blanket. Her back was to me, and, after a while, a little girl ran over to me and said something was wrong with my baby.

My baby’s eyes were watering terribly. Before long, she seemed to have trouble breathing. A woman I had just met drove me and the baby to the ER. I sat in the backseat, talking to my littlest, hearing my voice speaking quietly, as if I was dividing in two. I knew I was terribly afraid, because I wasn’t panicking.

By the time we had reached the ER, whatever bothered her had passed. Although I had her tested for multiple allergies, this event never occurred. But for the rest of the summer, I felt as though a knife had sliced over me, shearing off some essential part of me.

The pandemic has changed all of us — both over a year, and in smaller, sharper pieces, as in my family’s recent case. The New York Times shares stories today of new lives emerging, reshaping and reforming. Of lives going on.

Hardwick, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

1 comment

  1. Oh my goodness. I felt exactly what you meant, as a mother. How terrifying. Also, I agree we have all split from the pandemic. Yes to recognizing the before life and the after life.
    Thank you for this…

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