Alina throws her bag on the countertop and fixes herself a toast while dancing to the tune of her latest remix on her headphones. She doesn’t hear the creaking sound of Aunt Melania’s wheelchair reaching the kitchen. Neither does she listen to the rising number of Corona virus cases airing on the radio.

The next day her cousin Nerlicia is back from her hospital shift.

‘Hey Nelly, I have an event to cover today…let’s go!’

‘Not today, Ally.’ Nerlicia replies, grappling with the remote to turn on the TV.

‘Nelly, being a medic is so boring. You hardly ever go on nights out.  I am better a DJ than a DR.’

The news flashes a footage of Covid-19 patients, with a voice-over: Due to a rise in the number of active cases of Corona virus there will be a total lockdown as from tomorrow. The public is requested to stay home and follow all sanitary precautions.

Minutes later, Alina’s mobile whirrs with pings of event cancellations, giving her pangs of disappointment. Nerlicia’s pager beeps with a message to rush to hospital to form part of the Covid Response Team. After 2 days of assiduous shift, Nerlicia is home again, her cheeks still bearing the indent of her facemask. Aunt Melania wheels in, and looks at her. From far.

‘I wish I would work too, at least I would get out of the house. It’s suffocating in here.’ reproaches Alina.

‘You wish Ally? There are people dying there! Every patient I see is potentially Covid positive. My worst fear is bringing this virus home. That’s why I am packing more clothes so that I have minimal contact with you all. It’s hard for me to stay away from you…I yearn to be in the comfort of a home but I have no choice.”

Nerlicia zips up her bags and tells Alina, “Keep Aunty company, cherish the time you are getting to spend together, stay home and stay safe!”

Lockdown 2020

Home – A prison for the wild hearts.

Home –A yearning for the brave hearts.

And Aunt Melania, well, nothing changed for her.

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
2 years ago

I really enjoyed your story about the different ways restrictions and isolation affect people, and I thought the last sentence finished it perfectly. Well done!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Written with a wise understanding of how things are. This is one way a writer can make his or her point, then turn it into a story. Nicely done.

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musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Hats off to all the health care workers in this pandemic. Your story is like a big “thank you” to them.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

That was a really interesting way to end your story. Did you invent the 2 sentences?

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
Reply to  Leena Auckel
2 years ago

Well, they are thought provoking lines. I love being at home, but getting sick of doing Zoom courses instead of engaging with others face to face. I can go out, which is good, but not allowed to see people, so feel like a mixture of Aunt Melania and the wild heart.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

I liked your story about this COVID 19 pandemic. It is very hard for all of us to go through all restrictions and isolation. It is very distressing and painful, especially for those families with family members who died because of COVID 19. The snappiest salute to all frontliners.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Leena Auckel
1 year ago

Thank you, Leena. You stay safe always.

Chris
Chris(@chris)
1 year ago

Hi Leena – I just returned back to the Voice Club after a break, and ran across your story. I really like the line, when you said “Home – A yearning for the brave hearts.

It must be tough for hospital workers, and those who have chosen to become doctors. I had a friend training to be a doctor, then COVID hit and peaked during the summer of her first internship with real patients!

Your story really captured the essence of the COVID lock-down life, and I hope that your situation has improved in Mauritius 🙂

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