Notes from the Plague


New York Times

Headline Jan 20, 2017

MILLIONS WATCH HILLARY’S INAUGURATION 

A day for the history books as the first female president of the United States is inaugurated into office. Millions cheered as she pledged to make America great because it never was in the first place. Even more watched from home as we welcomed a new age for this country. 

New York Times

Headline May 4, 2017

OBAMACARE GETS A BOOST ALONG WITH TAXES ON THE 1%

One of president Clinton’s first acts in office was the update to the healthcare plan put in place by Obama. Leaving the name but increasing it’s reach across the country, Obamacare’s legacy continues to grow. Taxing big businesses such as Amazon and Coca Cola along with their respective CEOs piles billions for the bottom 98% to afford insulin and other life saving medications and procedures. 

New York Times

Headline Feb 21, 2019

GREEN NEW DEAL PUSHED FORWARD

The rise of AOC and her new Green New Deal has made its way to President Clinton’s door and she likes what she hears. Clinton and Cortez were seen meeting in the white house to discuss the points made in this deal and it seems that some of the more reasonable bills will be passed sooner rather than later. 

Drafts 1

August 13, 2019

The Nation Under Hillary 

From first lady to first female president of the US, Hillary Clinton has come a very long way on her political journey to success. She made some bold claims and promises in her candidacy but has proven herself as one of the most level-headed leaders America has ever seen. She approached the dispute with North Korea with swift and decisive action that led to a strong and stable bond with one of the most unpredictable leaders the world has seen, Kim Jong Un. Not only has the US carbon footprint diminished by 40% with the national ban of plastic bags, straws and cups and the increased affordability of electric cars due to the government’s collaborative program with Elon Musk. But her increased efforts to connect with other nations globally have led to the growth of respect for the Paris Climate Agreement so much so that almost every nation in the world has pledged to decrease their carbon emissions and industrial nations such as India and China have already begun implementing new policies to restrict pollution. 

The list of Hillary’s accomplishments as president can go on and will go down in history until the end of time. She did not just turn around this country but she brought the whole world together to battle a common evil: global warming. 

Diary Entry 1 

December 20, 2019

James says that politics isn’t my corner. That I don’t know what I’m talking about. That I don’t have as much insight as the higher ups. He says I’m lucky to write the top 10 lists I’m allowed. That was either before or after dropping a metaphorical stack of unedited celebrity update garbage into my email. All for me. Good practice or busy work nonetheless MY job. 

This bus smells like piss. Just gotta get home. I can’t wait to get my car. I’m gonna transfer to a little newspaper company in switzerland and live in a shitty little swiss apartment eating all the chocolate I want. Or is that sweden? No sweden has Ikea. I always forget. 

New York sucks. America sucks. Thank god Hillary won because I don’t know what I’d do with a cheeto for president. This whole planet would be in shambles right now. I can’t even imagine. I bet if he wasn’t in prison for his sexual assault charges he’d run again. At least the American people got one thing right in the past century. 

New York Times

Headline Jan 10, 2020

NEW VIRUS IN WUHAN CHINA LEADS TO A MEETING WITH THE CDC AND GHSB 

With nerves on high with the outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness in China the president decides to ease concerns by discussing preventative measures with health defense organizations. Maintaining strong relations with China as America moves more towards a socialist economy, president Clinton promises to stay vigilant and asks healthcare professionals to do the same. 

Diary Entry 2

January 15, 2020

A new virus in China. People are dying and all James has me writing is “Why Your Dog Licks So Much” or “5 DIY Bra Hacks”. I’m going to lose it. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t. I have to quit. Yeah, I’ll quit and while I’m at it I’ll quit all of my dreams and apply to the Papa Johns down the street. 

I work too damn hard to give up now. Top of my class in highschool just to have to turn down NYU because of MONEY. I hate money. Well I love money. I hate not having any. Being born to a single mother in the bottom of Brooklyn didn’t make life easy. Having to start 2 steps behind the rest of the world, go to school where working calculators were a godsend and every teacher hated being there. The more I know about the real world, the more I can see how low on the totem pole I really am. And boy is it dark down here. Then everyone tells you that a college education will fix all of your problems but of course those same problems make it impossible to go to a good college. And then the cycle continues. I put up with this internship for 2 years too long. But when I graduate Hunter, oh baby. Things are gonna look up for me. I bet you that much. Not because “my education opened up my opportunities” but because I chose the cheap school and worked till my bones hurt and saved like I had less money than before. Yeah, it just got harder.   

But if this doesn’t work out I mean… I look great in red. And free pizza, c’mon. 

Drafts 2

January 17th 

Female Leadership

Women have been the largest group targeted by oppression since the dawn of man. Women had to fight for the right to vote, the right to political discussions, the right to run for office, the right to work. Women have clawed at the feet of the patriarchy and have not stopped and will not stop until they reach the head. Men gave themselves power they didn’t have to learn anything or prove themselves worthy of it. Women not only had to understand the government and social systems better than men to prove they knew what they were talking about but they had to be articulate enough to convey that knowledge and brave enough to shout from the rooftops about it, and determined enough to keep fighting for what they knew they deserved even when denied over and over again. 

Women earned their spot at the table and did that by knowing more about the table than anyone else there. 

New York Times

Headline Jan 20 

AMERICA CLOSED FOR BUSINESS

As cases of the coronavirus rise globally and the first few cases make their way to the US president Clinton is quick to shut down all travel in and out of the country. The cities where these first cases arrived are also being quarantined. 

Diary Entry 3

January 21st

So it’s been a busy couple of days. I had a term paper due for Professor Hennings 2 days ago but I stayed up so late studying for my Econ 201 test that I completely forgot and I worked on the paper all day yesterday. Now I can’t get better than a B. Hennings and his late policies. 

Mom called me too. She tried to talk to me about school which was nice but inevitably she started going on about Javi and I just got so frustrated. I ended up lashing out at her and I didn’t mean to but now I feel real bad and I want to do something. Lara said I should call her back but I don’t call her. That’s my rule. I’ll be there when she needs me but I’m not reaching out. It took a lot to put up these walls. 

Point is it’s been a stressful couple days. I did come into work on thursday and talked to one of the executives about some of my ideas though. James politely shooed me away but I got my jist out.

We’ll see what happens. 

I was reading some things I wrote before and now I have to order Papa Johns. 

New York Times

Headline Jan 30

CLINTON SPEAKS ON CORONAVIRUS

WIth the WHO declaring a global emergency the president stepped in to calm the increasing panic across the nation.

Drafts 3

February 3rd

5 Ways America would be Different with Trump as President

  1. Environment-

Donald Trump was openly against the environmental conservation movement. He did not believe in global warming and saw it as a farce made by democrats. President Clinton has expanded much of the national forests land and improved the air quality and water quality by cracking down on pollution. These changes would not have occurred with Trump as president. The standing of our planet would be much worse than it was 4 years ago, the air would be smoggy from all the new American factories and the water would be even worsley polluted by plastic, something we gave up long ago.  

  1. Healthcare-

Trump openly disagreed with Obamacare and public healthcare. If given the power, he would have dismantled the healthcare system programs we had before and push for only privatized healthcare. This means everyone depending on public healthcare would either have to scrape to afford private healthcare or go into debt to go to the doctor. 

  1. Gun Rights-

After the mass shootings in schools and mosques led to protest, President Clinton decided to restrict gun rights and amend the 2nd amendment. Shooting rates dropped but if Trump was president he would not have restricted these laws. How many lives would have been lost to that kind of allowed violence?

  1. LGBTQ+ Rights-

People of the LGBTQ+ community have been discriminated against for centuries. President Clinton expanded the communities rights by making laws prohibiting this discrimination in adoption, the workplace, and healthcenters. Trump’s vice president would have been Mike Pence, a believer in conversion therapy. Their reign would have caused the rights of this community to not only stay unjust but to diminish even further. 

  1. The 1%-

Trump was a rich man, representing the wealthy and powerful. President Clinton funded millions of community building projects with tax money from the top 1%. This money would have never been collected under Trump and those communities would never have received the help they so badly needed while the rich just got richer. 

Diary Entry 4

February 10th

He didn’t even like my trump list. It’s like the second he sees *political figure* he automatically denies it. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve worked here since sophomore year. They asked me to stay after my internship but kept me on as an…intern. I do make better pay, but…  I’m doing the same thing as before. I haven’t moved at all. I guess I’m just disappointed.

Not to mention everyones wearing masks and gloves and all the canned vegetables are gone. The college advisors say it’s good everyone’s being prepared but now I only feel comfortable eating in my dorm because I don’t want to take my mask off anywhere else. 

I saw a kid almost pass out in a lecture hall because of heat exhaustion. He had a mask but the heat was on and I was feeling it too. 

Some people are saying the school’s going to close but they’re all paranoid. Hillary has done a great job so far keeping the country safe. She knows what she’s doing. 

New York Times

Headline Feb 14th 

DAY OF LOVE NOT FELT BY THE REST OF THE WORLD
When covid-19 started to spread president Clinton received extreme backlash for her decision to isolate the country. Now as Americans thank her for stopping the tide, nations such as France and Italy begin to feel America’s new cold shoulder. 

Diary Entry 5 

February 17th

It must really suck to be the rest of the world. Must suck to have a leader that puts the economy above public health. Not America. Not Hillary. Imagine being in China or Spain. I am so grateful for this country. 

Yeah the masks suck and the gloves are sticky but turtlenecks and scarves are back. That’s cool. 

Republicans are already making a big fuss but the media doesn’t want to cover that. At least NY is a democrat state and everyone here (almost everyone) listens to our great president. 

God if Trump was president during a disease like this…I can’t imagine how many Americans would have the virus right now. Scary thought. 

Diary Entry 6 

February 19th

My aunt from Germany called. She is hinting at visiting. She hopes to make it before the ban on air travel. She wants to use my mom’s bakery as a claim to work. 

I heard it’s getting pretty bad in Europe so I don’t know if mom’s gonna let her stay. She called me because she hoped I could talk to mom for her, my way with words and all, but I said I didn’t have time or made up some dumb excuse like that before gently hanging up.
I mean I knew people would get desperate but my own family, how do you say no like that. Up to ma now I guess.  

New York Times

Headline Feb 20th 

SHOULD YOU GET TESTED?

Scientists work on creating, improving, and distributing coronavirus tests throughout the world. But in America these tests are becoming mandatory within the states where the few breakouts began. 

Diary Entry 7 

February 21st

Thank god they closed florida. I saw the case numbers start to creep up the states from that nasty place. Hillary knew what she was doing with that one.

I hung out with Mark and Lara yesterday. We went for a run around the park. It felt good to see them and not have to wear a mask. They’ve become mandatory in school but outside is free game and plus I heard you can’t get it from being outside anyway. 

But it was so nice seeing them. Everyone’s just kind of kept to themselves on campus but they just finished this giant art project so they’ll have more time to hang out before. 

It’s so hard to see them because I barely have any classes with them. They like the day classes but I work during the day so I had to change my schedule. Lucky them and their fun little art classes. The only thing more inseparable than them both and art is them from each other. Ever since middle school they’ve been best friends. I was just lucky enough to meet them when I did freshman year. 

I just really needed this break with them because I’ve been so stressed and now they say they’re going back to upstate in the spring. Ughhhhh, I’m gonna miss em. 

Diary Entry 8 

March 2nd

My mom wants to get tested because the bakery’s been pretty busy and she doesn’t want to visit my grandmother if it puts her at risk but her doctor doesn’t have the test yet. I know grandma, she’s a trooper, even in that home she’ll be okay. 

The school has gotten word that all campuses are going to be closed so I have to go home.

Not like I’ve been avoiding that place for 4 years and everyone that lives there. Mom’s a good person just not to me. I tried to leave with Lara but I couldn’t fit in the trunk. 

I am not excited.

New York Times

Headline March 3rd 

NEXT STEPS TOWARDS SAFETY

With the collaborative measures of the WHO CDC and GHSB the president makes a national announcement that cancels all gatherings above 20 people and makes facemasks mandatory in public places. 

Diary Entry 9

March 3rd

I’m home. It was a crappy subway ride there with all my stuff. I don’t have a car and I’m not asking for a ride. It was bad enough calling her to say I was coming home. 

I avoided all the questions and the fuss. I dragged all my stuff to my room. She tried to grab a bag but I snatched it. I know it’s rude but I don’t want to owe her anything. 

Being away helps to heal but it also helps to forget. I suffered here. Years of disapproval, manipulation, and frustration. Even though I’m grown, there was nowhere else for me to turn. At least it’s just me and her for now. I can hide in Javis room for a while. 

He’s been off at Princeton for 2 years and hopefully he can move in with his little preppy friends. Mama’s success story. 

Anyways, I have to get used to working from home. At least James can’t give me his looks of disapproval, although I feel them through email. Most of my work was digital already which begs the question, why was I spending so much time in that stuffy office to begin with?

Drafts 4

March 4th 

Schools Out 

Last 4 months of the 2019-2020 school year were cut short due to the nation’s vigilant offensive strike against the growing pandemic in the rest of the world. Many students in high school and lower are extremely excited about the recent closure of their school buildings. However, many college students are facing the harsh situation of having to return to broken homes. Me, I’m college students…

Diary Entry 10

March 7th

I am so lucky to live in America. The cases are microscopic. Once someone sneezes it’s over. Quarantined. Everyone they know, quarantined. They’ve even started programs to send drones to deliver food, medicine, and other necessities so package delivery workers are at less risk. 

Even though being home feels like prison, it’s better than being sick. I have more time to write, more time to relax and watch some TV. I do my best to keep conversations to a minimum so as to not provoke her and she only drinks at night so I go to bed early. Everything is okay. I am okay. 

New York Times

Headline March 13th 

FRANCE SENDS HEATED MESSAGE TO AMERICA

France along with Italy, Britain and even China, band together to create a video message to the US as a call to action. The American isolation has outraged all countries most affected by the coronavirus believing “America knew something they didn’t” or should “use it’s maintained health to reach out to suffering countries”. President Clinton is hesitant to send American doctors. 

Diary Entry 11

March 19th

I’ve been home for a little now. I wasn’t earning minimum wage before but now I make even less. I don’t get as much work as before and now I don’t make enough for ubereats. Cooking is new. Mom doesn’t cook. She eats when she’s working at the bar. I’m just lucky we were well off enough with grandpa’s will money that she could keep the big apartment because whatever scraps she collects there would not be enough.

She’s just lucky he loved her, she put him through so much raising Javi and me. The screaming matches, the nights she’d leave us at his house with no warning. He’d make Javi and I sleep in the same little room that used to be moms until Javi got older. That’s when things got real ugly. Always defending each other and ratting on me and grandpa. Javi would tell mom everything. I can still remember the sting of embarrassment she left on my cheek on the train ride home one day when he told her that I agreed when grandpa said she was a mess. He didn’t start to say worse until Javi was out of the room. 

Even then he would snitch about everything. What he let us eat, where he took us to play, who came to the house. Javi caused one of the biggest fights I had ever seen between them, the police were called by the neighbors and everything. All over some chicken too. Mom had a tight budget and all we had eaten all week was rice with some canned vegetables, mom said we were going vegetarian. 

When we got to grandpas she told him, no meat. But once she was gone Javi screamed all night until grandpa gave him some chicken. He told mom the second she got through the door. It was chaos. 

It’s all so weird to think about now. When grandpa died all I thought about was the good times. When Javi wasn’t around and I could tell him anything. That and how bad Javi should have felt for making his life so miserable. 

I’m glad I had time to really sit and write something out. Online classes are the closest thing I have to human contact now. I even miss James. 

New York Times

Headline March 26th 

THE ECONOMY UNDER THE STRESS OF OVERBEARING LOCKDOWN

Americans move to remote life as the president stays as she says “ahead of the curve” but with coronavirus cases remaining static in the US citizens are calling for a focus on the national economy because “America is fine”. More people being affected by the loss of business or income demanding government compensation. 

Draft 5

March 27th

7 Ways to Keep Your Sanity While Quarantining

  1. Keep in Touch

Now is not the time to dub your friends. Everyone is dealing with their own struggles. Be there for those that reach out to you and make sure to reach out to your people when feeling down. Talk. Talk until your tongue goes numb. Plan a fake party. Talk about aliens, tv shows, books, food. Avoid current events and politics but just talk. A good conversation can make everything else melt away.

  1. Meditate

Be alone with my thoughts, no way! No silly, meditation is the exact opposite. Meditation is the art of controlling the power of your subconscious. Being aware of what goes on in your brain and only that for 10-30 minutes. Focus on not thinking at all. Listen to a guided meditation if you’re a beginner. It can help to clear your mind and make you calm. 

  1. Walk

Walk, walk, walk. Get outside. Breathe in the air, smell the flowers, look at the dogs, watch the birds. Being outside can remind you of what real life felt like. It’s also good to keep your body moving if this opportunity has turned you into a couch potato like me. 

  1. Eat 

When all else fails. Eat. Cry. Sob. Scream. Do what makes you comfortable. This is your life. You don’t need to learn a new trick or practice an old skill ,and you definitely don’t need to start working out because you have time. You’re allowed to be stressed sometimes, you can’t always push it away, sometimes the wave must crash. 

That’s all I’ve got really. If you have more let me know please I’m desperate. 

Diary Entry 12

March 30th

I haven’t heard from Mark in a couple of days. Lara barely texts me anymore. We can’t really see each other because they had to go home upstate but I keep trying to plan something. When they do answer they say their parents are keeping them home. They want to be careful. 

All I see on TV now are commercials saying to be careful. To wear all the protection you can. To save all the money you can. Yet, it comes right before a taco bell ad so I don’t know how efficient they are. 

I’m also getting sent a lot of emails from friends and businesses to sign petitions for a check from the government. Something to help with the finances because everyone’s under lock down. 

It’s just weird because everyone’s still healthy but I guess it is important to make people afraid if they aren’t sick or else they’ll get sick.  

New York Times

Headline April 2nd 

HATRED INSIDE AND OUT 

As cases across the globe spread around America, world leaders continue to hold a grudge against the American government for “stealing the life raft while the rest of us sank”. President Clinton releases email evidence which proves no one in America had prior knowledge about the severity of the virus. Meanwhile, her own citizens begin to protest the immense job loss and Clintons extensive use of government funds towards healthcare and environmental causes comes out as the reason against nationwide relief checks. i

Diary Entry 13

April 5th

So I just got off the phone with Mr. Jakovski. I’m fired. I knew it would happen sooner or later but right now? I don’t even have pocket money. It’s all in the bank and banks don’t want people taking out big sums of money because it’s bad for business especially now when everyone is fearful. I can’t even talk to anyone about it. I hear mom on the phone with Javi more and more and it makes my blood boil but I am still just a guest here. I have to get out. I don’t even have inspiration to write anymore. I noticed I started biting my nails again. Haven’t done that since high school. 

New York Times

Headline April 8th

VACCINE TRIALS OUTSIDE OF US STAY THERE

Even with all of the protective measures the country has begun to see a slight but steady increase in coronavirus cases. Especially with the increase in street traffic as people desperately search for work. The president reached out to companies outside of the US to look into vaccine studies but to no avail. 

Diary Entry 14

April 9th

I’ve been home for a while now and even though things just keep getting worse, life has found a way to make them actually horrible. Javi just got back yesterday. I heard from his room mom say “Oh my Javier! Baby come in, come in. Do you want anything to eat? Are you hungry?”

He came in unsurprised that I was there. Mom followed carrying the other half of his belongings. The room felt overwhelmingly crowded and before I could be asked to leave I quickly said my hellos and then my goodbyes and went for a long walk. I didn’t realize till he called that I had been out for 2 hours. I never really took the chance to look around my old neighborhood. It feels different in the worst way but the waves of nostalgia helped keep me out long enough for the apartment to settle down. 

I didn’t answer his call. I just saw the time and came back. 

I’ve tried not to interact with him much but dinner last night was really awkward. He keeps pretending like what happened last time we saw each other didn’t happen. He smiled, cracked jokes, the room felt warm but like I was wrapped in this cold sheet, keeping me from enjoying whatever “family time” there was. 

Looking now I see my nails have just gotten worse and my skin hasn’t stopped breaking out since that day he came home.  

New York Times

Headline April 14th 

CLINTON CAN’T FUND HEALTHCARE

The US is on its own, as it asked to be. But now with cases surging in the midwest as Clinton protestors start riots against the failing economy the president has decided to redact funding from outside organizations such as the WHO to push money into our own hospitals. Police are also under orders to enforce the new social distancing protocols with absolute force. 

Diary Entry 15 

April 23rd

I’ve been sleeping on the couch since Javi got back, mom turned my old room into storage so I stay in there during the day but there isn’t a bed. She sold it. Not that I blame her, none of us thought I would ever come back to this place. 

Moms out working most days, when she has off I stay in my room and watch videos on my phone. My screen time has gone up from 3 hours a day to 7 and it just keeps increasing. 

When she is at work Javi usually plays video games in his room, even though on full volume, it’s better because I can watch TV and actually cook during the day. The days he comes out of the room and stays in the living room are kinda bad. He drinks all day and stinks up the whole house with weed. He eats everything and plays music loud enough to shake the walls while watching football reruns. I try not to eat those days.

3 days ago actually when I had come out of my room excitedly to watch some Law and Order all day, I went to make cereal and when I looked back at the couch he was sitting right there. I quietly moved to the chair and started eating.

“None for me?” Almost instinctively I rose to get him a bowl as well. But I caught myself and sat back down before leaving the seat. He chuckled. 

I knew I was quiet but I didn’t walk around that apartment like a whipped puppy. I might have been nervous but I never looked it. Putting on the face of indifference became a skill of mine in middle school. 

“Wow what a great big sister” he said walking to the kitchen.

“You hate me or something? You haven’t said a word to me since I got home.”

“No, I just don’t feel like talking” I lied.

“You know I know you. It might have been a while but you’reyour the same.”

“I’m not the same.” I snapped.

“There she is. Defiant little Lena.”

I remember this conversation too well. It’s ingrained in my head. Unfortunately it had to be the only one I’ve had since my last call with Lara 2 weeks ago. 

“So what is it?..Huh? Come on we live together now. Talk to me.” 

He knew just how to speak. The charm, the gentle yet commanding tone. 

“You don’t remember the day I left?”

“Wow you’re still hung up on that? I was hoping mom said you had to leave or something.”

New York Times

Headline May 1st 

TRAVEL BAN RELEASED

President Clinton, with her back to a wall, has reopened the travel and trade industries under strict surveillance from the health departments. “We’ve come this far and now we must focus on our new problems.” She said in a conference aimed at all state leaders in effort to welcome travel and trade without fear. 

Diary Entry 16

May 13th

I know it’s been a while since I wrote something. It’s also been a while since I’ve spoken to Javi but I still had a really messed up dream last night. I fell asleep on the floor of my old room. I dreamt about the night I left.

I was packing up my last few belongings. Grandpa was there to drive me in. 

Little bratty 16 year old Javi was standing in the doorway. As mom came out to hug me goodbye he whispered in her ear. She came up to me and hugged me, then she smacked me and said 

“I’m glad you’re leaving slut.”

Grandpa tried to scold her which just led to a fight she was probably too drunk to remember. 

I woke up with a really bad headache and some serious back pain. 

Then I checked my phone and saw the 5 new assignments. I’ve been trying to keep up with all the new writings and online meetings and tests but I can’t focus in that tiny cramped room and I don’t join the meetings when Javi is too loud. 

I’m failing some classes but I just can’t find the motivation to even open my computer anymore. 

I don’t think I’ll be writing for a while. 

New York Times

Headline May 15th 

BAN RELEASED TOO LATE, STATES MOVE TO REOPEN FACTORIES

Clintons split decision to reopen travel and trade has backfired in a big way and states are left to clean up the mess. The chinese government has allied with other US trade nations to increase prices of commercial goods in protest of the previous US isolation. Clinton has tried to fight these new policies but no progress has made fearful state leaders demand federal government funding to begin renovating and reopening abandoned factories and mines with new environmental friendly tech to boost the suffering economy.

Diary Entry 17

May 18th

Mom lost her job at the bar. Every business in the area has taken some serious cutbacks. Luckily for me that means she’ll be out more for now, looking farther from home for work. Even though I haven’t talked to Javi in a while, mom has been pretty nice to me. She offered to bring me home dinner a couple of times even though I knew she didn’t have the money. She says she was excited to have her daughter back and when I first avoided her she tried to give me space to come to her. She says she’s done trying to give space and that I need to start spending more time with them when she’s home. 

It’s weird to hear her use her executive power over me to try to be a family. It’s usually to tell me I’ve been gaining weight, to cook for Javi, to clean for Javi, or to work more….like Javi.  

Diary Entry 18

May 21st

I used to go for walks but now I can’t without a mask so I don’t go as much. I can’t really breathe through it because it’s a cut up sock and not really a mask. I’m going stir crazy. I’ve rewatched The Office twice already. My nails are complete stubs. I’ve put on 10 pounds since getting here which does nothing good for my already dwindling self esteem. Mom’s gone all the time now. I think she’s getting desperate. I’ve heard her talk about going to the factories with a group of also struggling friends. I actually sort of miss her now. Funny, it only took 4 years and a pandemic. 

New York Times

Headline May 23rd

THOUSANDS FLOOD TO NEW FACTORIES FOR JOBS 

Coronavirus fear is pushed out of the spotlight by financial distress. Low income families are desperate for work as stimulus checks become more and more scarce due to the slow reopening of small cities. Thousands are pictured outside multiple construction sites of the new american factories, looking for either factory or construction work. Police had trouble breaking up the crowds in efforts to appease the social distancing rules that people are beginning to no longer respect.

Diary Entry 19

May 26th

She left for Indiana. I have to get out of here. I’m going job hunting. I heard the supermarket needs some help because people have been getting sick. I’m scared but I need the money. I hear more and more sirens everyday. The stores are always out of something if not everything, if not closed. Cops patrol to tell people to go inside but everyone’s just looking for work or money. I don’t know how often I’ll be writing here. It really helps to clear my mind but I think someone’s been reading my journal. 

Diary Entry 20

May 31st

I tried every store in the area. I leave as often as possible. I keep missing my online classes. I keep having panic attacks because the case number just keeps rising and the death toll hasn’t stopped moving. I can’t listen to the news but I can’t sleep through it either. I haven’t slept in quite a while anyway. I just stay on Tik Tok praying this will all pass. I think I look so bad it’s gotten to the point where Javi avoids me. I really miss mom. 

New York Times

Headlines June 1st 

CLINTON KEEPS PRIDE ALIVE

Even though cases of Covid-19 have been rising in the United States the president has decided to continue with the pride parade planning for the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Masks are required by all participants but unavailability of this immense quantity could cause conflicts. 

Diary Entry 21

June 5th

I really want to go to pride but my mom made me promise not to. An old group chat I was in started up again with plans to go but now I have to cancel. They say it won’t spread anything because it’s going to be outside but mom doesn’t want to hear it. Not like she supports my “choices” anyways. This corona thing sucks man. 

And how are other countries doing so much better than us now. Weird how it’s all shifted. I feel a little better. I reached out to an old friend from the chat and we’ve been talking a lot recently. His name’s Lee and we went to a research program together a really long time ago. He’s really cool. I think grandpa would have liked him. He’s got that laid back vibe. 

Diary Entry 22

June 8th

Moms back. She couldn’t find any stable work but she was able to manage a couple hundred, enough to cover the rest of the rent due. It’s good having her back. We actually hugged which was weird but it felt good. I can never forgive what she’s done but now more than ever I need someone. Anyone to lean on. I wasn’t feeling great yesterday and I thought I was due to stress eating but today I have a fever. I’m going to lie down on the couch for a while. Hopefully no one needs the living room. 

New York Times

Headlines June 10th 

2 MILLION CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AMERICA

The country’s new found focus on the drowning economy has led to a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases throughout the United States. The president has begun directing the american attention from the seemingly averted pandemic to the now rapidly declining financial state. This influx of public gatherings, travel, and international trade has caused over 2 million coronavirus cases to accumulate in one month. 

Diary Entry 23

June 16th

I can’t stay awake. I can’t do my work. I haven’t been able to hold a conversation with Lee without passing out. Failing doesn’t even matter to me anymore. I’m so weak. I feel like I can’t breathe. I’m really scared and I don’t know what to do. I cried in moms arms last night. She didn’t even care that I was sick. I’m calling my doctor tonight. 

Diary Entry 24

June 19th

I had a visit with my doctor. Lots of coughing people. I got tested. I think I have the virus.

2 nights ago it got real bad. I was lying on my stomach wheezing and coughing all night. At about 3 am I heard Javis door open and I got nervous as I heard him come closer. He sat on the coffee table next to me. He was crying. 

“I’m sorry….I’m sorry.” he paused for a while.

“I put you through hell. I know. I put grandpa through hell. I know what I did. I know what I did was wrong.”

I was so stunned I coughed more. 

“I was so mad, ya know? You and him were so close and he never liked me the way he liked you. And then you left me here. You left me with her.”

“She wasn’t as good as she is now. She did a lot of work for you.” He touched my back. 

“And now you’re going to die and I don’t know what I’m gonna do… I’m sorry.”

He sniffled and stumbled back to his room. I could smell the pot but the words were heartfelt nonetheless.

I feel a little better now. Enough to write this. I want to make sure I never forget what he said. 

New York Times

Headlines June 25th 

AMERICA ON IT’S OWN AS CASES INCREASE

Clinton spent so much gov money on the factories that they can’t afford the price the other nations have put on coronavirus study data and drugs. 

Diary Entry 25

June 30th

Everything hurts. The doctor said that I was well enough to stay home but at this point “well enough” just meant breathing. The cases just keep rising. The death toll is so high looking at the number makes me sick. I’m young so I’ll get over it. My mom has asthma, she’s starting to get a fever. I’m scared. More scared than I’ve ever been. I read through the beginning of this journal and try to feel those feelings. Happiness in the park, anger at James, fear of my old home. I can’t. They all feel so small. So fake. I’m scared. I’m gonna go lie down. 

Today is Tuesday June 2nd 2020. The world may be in shambles. America may be broken to pieces. Between coronavirus death toll surpassing 100 thousand, murder hornets, and the Black Lives Matter protests and riots, there aren’t many positive places to turn. This story is not true, but it just goes to show that struggles are bound to happen. Maybe this is the worst possible reality, maybe reality is the worst possible reality. No one can truly say we are living through the best possible times. Many people in this reality have made some extremely poor decisions to say the least. The point of this is to prove that this is just one very specific option for what could be. Our lives are an accumulation of all of the choices made before and after we are born. This world is not good, it’s not bad, it just is. Of course things can be better, but we cannot change the past, and even if we could whos to say we should. So the focus of 2020 should be to make better choices in the present for a better future. Vote.

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