In Their Own Words


My Autism-informed experience developing
agoraphobia during the pandemic.

My friends say the soldiers at the military

base caught a virus

That nobody knows very much about.

I learned the meaning of the word

“quarantine” today,

And a new meaning to the word “isolation.”

My math teacher told us today that

She highly recommends cleaning out our


And bringing everything home,

“of an abundance of caution.”

I nod absentmindedly,

Thinking instead of the party I have this



COVID-19 is deadly. Stop the spread now.


Ignoring public-health direction endangers

lives. STAY HOME.

Protect yourself and others.


This can’t be happening.

Did I hold my friends for long enough on


Dear Instagram, I am going crazy.

Dear Minecraft, please keep me company.

Dear Hotmail, tell my best friend I miss her.

Dear Google, will a weighted blanket keep

me from going crazy?

Dear Amazon, send me masks and Purell

when you’re able.

Dear YouTube, stop sending me

advertisements for at-home workouts.

I’m lucky if I wake up with the energy to sit

up in bed.

“Mom says we can have a socially

distanced visit,”

But what’s the point?

I can’t cry into your shoulder and tell you

how much I miss you.

Besides, socializing will get me sick, and I

fear the air will burn me.

I want normal life back more than I’ve

wanted anything in my life.

We can meet within six feet in small groups


I’m conflicted. I miss my friends so much,

but I don’t want to get sick.

My mom told me that socializing would feel

like bitter medicine.

She was right.

I have a strong hiker’s knot stuck in the pit

of my stomach

That pulls on my lungs and goes

everywhere with me.

I can’t put it down.

The schools are opening.

I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to flunk

out of school.

I’ll … start homeschooling? I’ll invest in it.

Everything will be OK.

Everything is not OK.

If everyone’s wearing masks it’ll be fine,

I can do it, I think. I can go back to school.

Oh, god, no I can’t. I can’t do it.

One in 10 Canadians live with a disability.

One in six people who get COVID have

long-term effects.

Why am I the only one wearing a mask?

Why did they get rid of the mask mandate?

Does the government care about us?

Does anybody care anymore?

I can leave the house now, but

That feeling of isolation remains.

The comments section is closed.


Bee Cooper

Grade 12
Halifax, Nova Scotia

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