About the Artwork

As we were standing in line for coffee before our morning shifts started, I asked her how she felt. What was she thinking? How much has this pandemic taken from her? She has been working overtime, shift after shift, only catching a few hours of sleep at the hotel. Was her husband mad? Did her children miss her? Was her father worried about her?

She whispered behind her mask: “I haven’t thought about how I feel. I am scared that if I do..that if I take a minute to process everything and every day…I might just collapse. Wired! I just feel wired, you know.”

We got our coffees courtesy of the hotel and parted ways. Later that night, when my dad asked, I told him “Mom is fine…”

This piece was inspired by the above encounter/conversation with my mother, a nurse, during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we both stayed at a hotel so as not to put our loved ones at risk.

Mariana Ndrio, a second-year medical student at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) in St. Kitts and Nevis, currently lives in Chicago.

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