Corona Diaries: Toilet Paper Candles

by Karini Viranna

It’s Thursday. April 9, 2020. My birthday is in 25 days which Facebook reminds me. “Which charity do I want to donate too?” I’m newly separated from my husband. Newly, as in a few days before the quasi-lockdown in Berlin. We shared our birthdays together. I used to hate birthdays. I think you hate it when your father never shows up and you’re 4, then 8, then 16. But then my husband’s was the day after mine. They became fun. This will be my first birthday alone. My dearest friends have already suggested a Zoom call. I am excited for them. Continue Reading


by Jane Flett

Strange ways to pass the time. I write a letter to all the television characters
who haven’t got the memo yet. Listen up! I scrawl to a girl hollering pints in a pub
so packed there are other humans there, but that’s as far as I get. I want to remind
her the future will make this moment seem like such crazed & delinquent abandon
but the impulse makes me feel like a snitch. I write a letter to God instead.
Dear God have you considered investing in video conferencing
& do you think this season will be your most critically acclaimed? Continue Reading

Corona Diaries

by Tihana Romanić

When I woke up it was just another day. I did not read any messages until I had completed my morning routine. A cup of warm lemon water, meditating, eating my breakfast and having a cup of coffee. That´s a new rule, no messages, no news before coffee. I learned my lesson last Friday. I read the news first thing in the morning. It said that Berlin may be heading towards a curfew. A curfew could mean no running, and running is my sanity. I read the news and fell apart. I cried for seven hours. Seven. You read that right. On and off, for seven hours. An hour for each day I was self-isolating, maybe. Continue Reading

Corona Diaries: Night Tag

by Greg Rhyno

Last night, I left my house to meet a friend. It was beautiful outside—warmer than I expected—and all the lights along my street were haloed with mist. After a day indoors, the fresh air was sweet and good in my lungs, so I turned up my music, started down the sidewalk, and tried to keep two metres away from anyone I passed.

When I first moved to Guelph, it was a city where people ran into one another. Even as a newcomer, it didn’t take long to spot familiar faces in bars, busses, and the windows of restaurants. Long before I carried a phone everywhere, I knew that if I wanted to hunt down some friends, I could always drop by the Albion patio, or weave my way through Jimmy Jazz. The city has changed a lot in the last twenty years, but unlike so many places, it still has a centre: a beating heart of a downtown that always felt like an extension of my own neighbourhood. Continue Reading

Corona Diaries

by Selena Cristo

Florence, Italy. April 1, 2020.

So I’ve been trying to stay positive. Studying Italian. Working out. Eating healthy. Drinking less. Doing my household chores mindfully. Sprinkling in some Criterion classics with my trashy Netflix binges. It’s been a pretty cozy existence, all told. But going into my fourth week of quarantine it’s been getting harder to ignore the grinding dread that comes of waiting for a terrible blow to fall, a blow that’s still a month or two away from really landing. Scratching beneath the surface of my brittle calm are the questions: will I lose my restaurant? how will I pay my rent? what kind of a world will we be returning to when this is over? how much is this going to suck?
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Corona Diaries

by Zola Gorgon

I’m not even supposed to be in this flat, or anywhere, really, but since there’s a housing crisis going on, I went into quarantine in my friend’s flat where I’ve been sleeping on the couch for two months. For the first few days I made a lot of to do lists. The lists would say things like “eat tortellini” and “play RollerCoaster Tycoon 2” so that I could feel productive when I crossed out things I was, inevitably, going to do anyway. But now I’ve given up on that feeling. There really is nothing to do.

Anticipating mealtime as the highlight of my day makes me feel more sympathy for dogs.

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Corona Diaries: The Carrier Bag Theory of a Virus

by Celina Basra

I am googling giant bag, but I cannot seem to find any fitting for the task at hand, which is to contain all my clothes and a room full of concepts and funding applications put to sleep, stacked upon each other in ancient folders, faded green and yellow and blue.

I am eating gherkins out of a glass with chop sticks, everything else is packed, for I am moving on April 1st, leaving my apartment of 13 years, off to pastures anew. On my bed, surrounded by my favorite books, that I will transport in one of the giant bags, maybe on a rented bike, bit by bit, as that my bike is broken. Not trusting a truck with all of my favorite things.
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Corona Diaries: The New Moderate Tendency*

by Lindsay Miles

“I look terrible,” I say. “Does it matter? Has it ever?” Vanity takes up less than an hour who am I kidding; Kafka nearly two. I am in that movie with Hugh Grant where life is bought in half-an-hour instalments (seen itself as a symptom of being single, unattached). “Touch my face,” I say. It is morning, and alarms sound, unfazed. It is difficult to cry when one does drugs that make it difficult to cry. It is difficult to appreciate anything right now but a centralized state, flux in our more evasive industries, the spectacle of shipments, the mail. The cornbread is dry I notice and that you do not need this moment described. No I will not look longer and closer with my surplus. I will go outside, catch a ball and dodge what breathes. Continue Reading

Corona Diaries

by Elba Quintero

I find it hard to trust in this reality. I wake up after consciously sleeping for as long as I can, avoiding these unfamiliar thoughts of what truth really is. How fluid is my sense of existence, how unaware I was of all the possibilities that technology brings to us. We can see it as a positive tool: here we are all in the middle of a pandemic, receiving valuable information almost instantly, being aware of the situation of others, coming up together with new ways of facing life. But I’m also deeply frightened about the negative side of it: none of us will be the same, our capacity of questioning authority will be heavily damaged, we have proven to ourselves that we’re easily manageable as masses, our current moral – what we think is right and wrong – has changed so fast that we didn’t even ask ourselves if it truly led us to a better path.
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