Pandemic Dos and Don’ts

Written for:  Writers’ Pantry #32: From Case Studies to Plague Poetry
“How does one respond to a stranger who asks, “Can you recommend a good pandemic book?”

“On Pantry day, you have to follow no prompt. Share poetry or prose that is old or new, words that are bright like the sun or dark like the times. Let your pieces be short or long (if you go for prose, please make your word count 369 words or fewer).”

Poem by Julia Alvarez

During this unending pandemic:

Do wear a mask, custom if you must
Do use hand sanitizer
Do smile at people with your eyes
Do have items delivered when you can
Do offer to help other people
Do speak to people you love by phone
Do laugh often
Do keep busy

Do not be a ME, ME, ME – I’m a free person
Do not party except in your head
Do not spit – anywhere
Do not count on a guardian angel to keep you safe
Do not attend a gathering of idiots
Do not assume that you are immune
Do not hug anyone; trees are an exception
Do not constantly bitch and moan about what you can’t do; no one else can either


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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7 Responses to Pandemic Dos and Don’ts

  1. Absolutely! You nailed it!

    (I particularly like that ‘trees are an exception’ when it comes to not hugging.)


  2. sanaarizvi says:

    This is incredibly potent. I especially like; “Do not assume that you are immune.” We need to remain cautious.


  3. Beverly Crawford says:

    This should be framed and hang on every wall! Stellar advice!


  4. nice poem here. i can relate on most of them. thank you.


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