The Pandemic

By .

His very darkest brown eyes sparkled and were so vibrant in contrast to his blond, prairie-field fluffy head of hair flowing freely in the wind. His eyes jumped with the excitement he carried in his nine-year-old body.

He was as excited as any nine-year-old boy would be with the notion of going home. To be reunited with his maternal brothers, hopefully with Father and all his paternal extended family, too. Especially his friends. His excitement soared.

This time it was different, as this time he had to be extra careful, donning gloves, a mask, and sunglasses. He called it The Corona. It was his friend he retorted, likely his way of remaining calm and showing he can be a big boy.

Nanny drove with them most of the night. A police car followed them for kilometers, turning onto a road leading from the shores of the South Shore Atlantic toward the airport. They passed the time with idle chitchat, mostly about Corona. Covid-19 they called it. A global pandemic. The streets of the little town they had lived for the past few months were bare.

Nanny reminded her daughter at least a hundred times to wear her mask and gloves and glasses, not to touch her face. Wipe things down with the carefully, thoughtfully, hesitantly packed Clorox Wipes, neatly wrapped in two large baggies.

She really didn’t want them to go. She was deathly afraid. So afraid she was almost immobilized. She didn’t know how to express her fears let alone hide them. You see, she was the Matriarch of her little family. Most big decisions went through her. Now, her only thought was: How do we get through this?

There were at least sixty wipes folded into each bag. Every time Nanny reminded her daughter, she said, “I know, Mom!”

Nanny had planned to go too, but then changed her mind. Who would to be here to take care of the rest if indeed her daughter became infected and died? What if her daughter brought it back? Someone else in her care could lose their life.

Air Canada changed their flight at least six times. One time her daughter even accidentally cancelled the flight with the link they provided, thinking she could change it. She was in a panic after two and a half hours of waiting on the phone. The second leg of the flight had now been reserved but with a ten-hour wait at the busiest airport in their country. Her daughter was frazzled but thought maybe the airport agent could help them get a better connection. No such luck. The government was directing flights.

It was now late afternoon. Time for them to go through security. Nanny’s heart sank. Could she hug them? She looked at the Security Agent. At first he wasn’t going for it, but Nanny’s boy came and gave her a hug. Nanny had tears in her heart, hoping and praying for their safety.

They did make it to that big metropolis and once there decided to get a hotel room for the ten-hour layover. When it was time, they got on the last leg of their travel and finally arrived late at night. Nanny could sleep when she heard they were safely at their destination city and their true home.

About Eileen Sanderson

Eileen Sanderson originates from the Red River Metis in Manitoba. She currently resides in Birchtown, Nova Scotia. Eileen is a mother and grandmother of six grandchildren and one great-grandson. She has also been published in Salt and Wild. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Manitoba's Inner City Social Work Program and practiced social work for approximately 30 years in Winnipeg. Eileen has been involved in writing workshops with Alex Pierce at McKay Memorial Library in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, for the past six years.

3 thoughts on “The Pandemic

  1. Denise Thomas

    Awe what a heartfelt story, loved it????

  2. Karen

    Awesome work Eileen. Keep up the great work.

  3. Virginia Boudreau

    So happy to read your heartwarming story here, Eileen! Hope to see more in the future.


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