I remember the ambulance sirens wailing down DeKalb Avenue on their way to Brooklyn Hospital.  I remember between classes, counting sirens and there being one every 9 minutes.  I remember hearing that the air quality was cleaner than ever. I remember scientists reporting that animals in the wild were spending more time playing.  I remember this one orange cat would walk by my window every day, and I worried its people had left it behind. I remember homeless people were left out in the street. I remember my student saying in Zoom class that she was feeling closer to her family.  I remember feeling hungrier more often than before COVID. I remember my skin being gross from not going outside for days. I remember my glasses fogging up over the mask when I started to go out, and what a relief it was to take them off and not see long-distance.  I remember feeling anxious for the young people hanging out together on the corner without masks. I remember deciding that I have to stop thinking fearfully and start thinking more positively. I remember sometimes liking the rain and clouds — the fact that no one would be outside and I wouldn’t feel so isolated inside. I remember that the roads were empty. I remember feeling moved at 7 PM when people came out on their front stoops, clapping, triggering their own car alarms, hanging out of windows banging pots and pans, all cheering for the healthcare workers.  I remember the thrill of witnessing protesters heading down the middle of the street to the 81st Police Precinct.  I remember marches passing my building day and night – bicycle marches, maracas-and-cowbells marches, silent marches, loud marches, even little family marches of parents and children. I remember the traffic-jammed cars behind them. I remember police helicopters drilling low over our block. I remember the police kettling and squeezing protesters at the intersection of Lafayette and Classon, and the night turning scary.  I remember the fireworks all day and all night for a month — stimulus checks popping on the street — the sizzle of the long fuse, the whistle, the bang, batteries of bottle rockets, missiles, barrages of roman candles, the boom of M80’s outside my window at 3 AM.  I remember counting 19 police vehicles one day in August outside the projects down the street, and hearing that gun violence statistics were up.  I remember more unmarked police cars than usual speeding through the neighborhood, lights whipping.

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3 Comments
  1. Ashley 2 days ago

    Dear Kiran, I have never related so much to a post before in my life. This pandemic has been an extremely scary rollercoaster. Just like you for most of the time, I thought about all the negatives instead of the positives when it came to talking about the pandemic. Then I realized that it’s more than that. There actual positives when it comes to this scary ride. All the doctors and nurses doing their best to treat everyone that walks into hospitals. We would be nowhere without them and also those that give us the instructions to stay 6 ft apart and wear masks.

  2. Marlissa Morris 4 weeks ago

    Kiran,
    I was interested in your post by the Pandemic because it was what was happening around the world. I think I have learned to be a better educator and a better person to my community. Reading your post also made me realize that we all learn one way or another about our community and what is around us. I am sure it was difficult being a high school but by you being safe, you stayed indoors and took every precaution. It was a great post reading about what you learned within your community through a tragic change and how it affect who we are today. I am not near where you are, but I seen on the news how bad everything was. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Aaliyah 4 weeks ago

    Dear Kiran,

    I am intrigued by your post, “Pandemic”, because it really exemplifies what is occurring in the pandemic in a poem like style. There have been pros and cons of this pandemic that has both helped people grow but also has a way of holding people back as well. Our personal life has been adapting to this new lifestyle but our personal life isn’t the only thing changing as politics has been a back and forth debate with recent issues.

    One sentence you wrote that stood out to me is, “I remember the fireworks all day and all night for a month — stimulus checks popping on the street — the sizzle of the long fuse, the whistle, and the bang, batteries of bottle rockets, missiles, and barrages of roman candles, the boom of M80’s outside my window at 3 AM.” This sentence elaborates how people are moving past the pandemic like it is not an issue anymore, still going out and doing what they please.

    Thank you for this writing. I look forward to what your next writing is, because you bring up issues that need to be addressed more often. I would like you to continue writing about issues against the pandemic and how we can find solutions to them.

    Aaliyah

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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