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