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  • Katherine Napier

The Corona Paradox


It is the best of times – it is the worst of times. It is a time of quiet and expansion – it is a time of boredom and restriction. It is a time of reflection, it is a time of drowning; a time of building and creation – a time of breakdown and destruction; a time of hope – a time of despair; a time of abundance – a time of destitution. It is a time of lack and a time of heroic generosity, of the closing of doors and visions of new horizons, of fear and courage. It is the time of giving up of habits and the development of new forms, the disruption of consumption and the return of the turtles to their beaches. It is a time of isolation when deer gather on grassy street verges, undisturbed by the growl of traffic. It is a time of dying alone, and of tender care, of ultimate risk and ultimate giving.

It is a time of loneliness and of unguarded encounter: of being apart and sharing greetings with strangers. It is a time of darkness and turning in, and it is Springtime, sunshine and growth.

I enjoy the peace and time

to be, while my colleague struggles for breath. I cannot conceive how to pay for the next meal while my neighbour drinks wine in the evening garden. I am safe and secure while my sister shrinks from the next inevitable beating.

The skies are empty of vapour trails.

The bright green of new oak leaves vibrates in celebration against the cleared blue of the afternoon sky.

The hum is the bees roaring after pollen, and above it the sound of birds, conversation, children at play.

And the virus works. Sifting, sorting, careless of gender, race, class or creed. Reducing us, provoking us, inviting us.

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