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This was a collaborative project by the Creative Writing Meetup group that meets weekly in AltspaceVR. The prompt was to share personal reflections about the recent COVID-19 self-isolation decisions, with some participants not yet isolating, and others already into their second or third week.

Everywhere is dead.
Access is different now.
Access to food, people, work, family.
Too little, too distant, too hard, too much.
Big city is empty. Village is bigger and emptier.
Streets are empty.
I hear birds not traffic.
I wander, helpless.
I’m lost.

There is a shift from normal.
A new normal.
Watching this happen far from me
Drawing closer and closer
To work, to home, to life.
This is something that happens
To other people not me.
I didn’t believe.
I didn’t listen.
It is. Happening.
It is happening to me.

We are adapting, or are we?
Normality drifts away.
A new normality replaces it.
You barely notice the shift
As life changes around us.
Plans cancelled. Life on hold.
I didn’t prepare.
Shortages are my loss.
I order take out.
I call two hours later.
It was delivered an hour ago.
I tighten my belt.

We live together, yet apart.
One person living alone.
Nine people living alone.
Who is safe? Where is everyone?
Everyone is alone.
Everyone is together.
I feel alone.
I feel left out.
I feel forgotten.
Misplaced.

There is a deterioration of routine.
The schedule is falling apart.
Times, days, weeks fall off the calendar.
Scattered. Lost.
I’ve lost my purpose, my senses.
I have more time than
I remember ever having
Yet I don’t know what to do with myself.

My life is not mine any more.
My life is no more.
I don’t know who I am.
I am missing.
I am a robot.
I am blind.
No emotion.
I need guidance.
Everything I ever knew and was
Gone out the window.

My perspective has changed.
The virus is a mirror
I didn’t expect to look into.
It’s changed who I was.
It’s changed who I am.
I am becoming
Different
Yet the same
Facing my new reflection.