“Why Does Everyone Hate Me?,” an Exclusive Interview with Cyrus Coronavirus
Cyrus Coronavirus was
an ordinary, average virus
living in an ordinary, average
body, but one day he decided
he’d like to see the world.
Being a tiny fellow he clung
to the threads of wind
as they moved past, landing
every so often on an
unsuspecting human. He may be
a tiny speck but he was
quite friendly, and determined
to meet as many people as possible.
He flitted and floated, then
wafted and wandered.
He sailed in the wind, so
he could hover and linger.
Inquiring minds want to know: How did you travel so far so fast?
“I used to live in bats. I got tired
of caves. People would be
more interesting but things just didn’t
work out. People are so paranoid.”
“Bat to bat to bat. My fly-by-night life
spent in the comforting warmth
of chiroptera guano and spit.
Yet, like every virus, my soul stirs
with a yearning to jump, to take leap
of faith, to… Hey, I wonder where
that guy is going. Crown me, Baby!”
There a lot of unanswered questions. How did you wind up here?
“Yeah yeah. People are so judgmental,
they want to place all the blame on me,
I can’t help it if they don’t wash their hands.”
[Deadpan:] “I am Coronavirus.
I am a silent, creeping plague
coming to get you. Run, run
as fast as you can!”
“But first, an alibi. How to begin—
by bat in Wuhan? A misstep in a laboratory?
A cruise ship, or an air voyage? Replicate
and float in the air like dandelion seeds?
Muddied, muddled possibilities make
for silent, secret travels. Chaos and confusion,
my advance men; death, a heavy angel
behind me, and within me, its breath
fueling me on— such sustenance
for a long, long journey.
Oh, oh, the places to go!”
“I might be here and there,
everywhere, but remember,
all because of you,
my first host was a wild animal
came too close to people
because of you,
and I just jumped over
as I always do…”
I understand you have been coping with a lot of hidden biases…
[Snarkily:] “Watch out for me for I’m the unseen
Don’t get too close I am COVID 19.
Don’t wash your hands, wearing a mask just won’t do
Because I’m COVID 19 and I’m coming for you!”
“Here comes the nasty virus,
better be careful, he doesn’t discriminate,
you can be beautiful, young or old.
He’s like the big bad wolf!
Hurry, run as fast as you can!”
“Young ladies laying on the beach beware
You certainly get the men to stare
Virus-like a ghost
Looking for a host
That’s something you do not want to share.”
“I’m a tiny tim virus, but I attack like a bandit,
robbing and killing my host. Be very afraid
of me. I will get you if you let your
mask down. “Danger Will Danger!”
I detect some sarcasm here. How would you prefer to be remembered?
“Think of me as that hunky, popular guy
in high school. I made you feel too weak
to resist, hot all over and took your breath
away. Just this time, I didn’t give it back.”
[Deep sigh:] “I am COVID-19! I’m tiny but mighty!
I’m your uninvited squatter.
My super power is to haunt you
day and night. But can you give me
a break? Didn’t I bring you together
with your family, friends and community?
Cherish those moments! When I say
adieu, remember my lessons. Don’t
take anyone or anything for granted!“
I understand that you can’t speak for all, but what would your brethren say?
“We’d love to take a bow or three,
but for the fact we’re too small to see.”
Any final thoughts?
“Please have sympathy, I implore,
it’s always such a chore
to move from host to host
when the last one could give no more.”
“Why is everyone so mad at me?
I’m just doing my job.”
Original prompt: Write from the perspective of the novel coronavirus
Thomas Vaden, Robin Longfield, Rose Y. Monge, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Nan Friedley, Juanita E. Mantz Pelaez, Debby Johnson, James Luna, Frances T. Borella, Gudelia Vaden, Dar Stone Natalie Champion, Cati Porter, Barbara Berg, Douglas McCulloh, Rick Champion, Raine Lefaivre-Naggi, Becca Spence Dobias