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Our Pandemic Years | Weekly Roundup

Medium creators’ responses to this week’s writing prompts

Photo: Yagi Studio / Getty Images

Hello, creators! This week, I suggested we attempt to process the past two+ years of pandemic strangeness. The results have been really remarkable! I also think it makes sense if you still aren’t able to see the pandemic in context — after all, we’re still living through it. But sometimes it can help to write things out as narrative, even you don’t quite know the beginning, middle, and end yet.

Here’s a handful of your pieces that stood out, but there are many more on the Write Here topic page. And I encourage you to click into the stories below to read them in their entirety. After all, we’re all in this together.

Crying Everyday is Really Inconvenient

I’ve always felt the urge to cry when frustrated, but I was able to keep it under control for years. I’d feel the tears gathering behind my eyeballs, my voice about to change, and I would give myself a drill-sergeanty internal pep talk that went something like, Jesus Christ, pull it together for G-d’s sake. And this usually worked. When it didn’t, I would gulp water, because the swallowing mechanism knocks out the about-to-cry mechanism. (Take that tip to the bank, ladies: if you work somewhere that frowns on crying, keep a bottle of water on your desk at all times).

But that skill-set has now completely disappeared. Although I know correlation doesn’t equal causation, it’s hard not to blame the last two years of abject fear, confusion and upheaval for this new disability. I now feel like a big open blister. Or a jellyfish? I feel like I once had a shell, and now I don’t, but I’m definitely supposed to have a shell. Where is my shell? — Adeline Dimond

It’s Been Tough to Hold Things Together Lately

It’s been so hard to hold things together lately.

Let’s just take a moment and feel that: It’s been hard to hold things together lately.

It feels good to say, because I haven’t been saying it. I’ve been saying I’m fine, Things are good, Can’t complain, Oh you know just winterish, Doing all right — how bout you?

Everyone’s talking about how “things are looking better” now — pandemic things, economy things, job market things, child care things, spring is around the corner — and I can’t see it.

Oh, I can understand the words and logic. I can appreciate the cautious optimism. But I can’t see it for myself.

Because I can’t feel it for myself. — Eileen Wiedbrauk

It’s Been Two Years.

I remember clearly a day in March when we hung out with friends and decided to go to a mall in Staten Island, New York. We had just started to hear about the seriousness of the COVID19 virus. It was to be the last day in an indoor public place for a year or more with a thousand anxieties, questions and concerns to follow our days and nights. We cleaned the table with wipes, carefully ate fast food, and left hurriedly as if sneaking out of a party without saying goodbye. This was followed by months and months of staying at home; going for long walks; driving down lonely highways and shuttered stores and restaurants. The whole world stood still, and we were witnessing it. — Mino Akhtar

Please join us for open writing hours every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. PT / 4:30 p.m. ET, through March 31. Use this meeting link to join (the passcode is: Medium). We share optional writing prompts and mellow music, and it’s a great way to set aside some time to write — and to hang out with fellow creators.



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Amy Shearn

Formerly: Editor of Creators Hub, Human Parts // Ongoingly: Novelist, Essayist, Person