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COVID-19 Archive

Images and Stories from Vermont

Covid Limbo


Covid Limbo


I had cataract surgery for my right eye on March 4, in Adams, MA. I was scheduled to have the left eye done on March 18, 2020 at the same location. On March 16, I was notified that the Governor of MA had closed all surgical centers who performed elective surgeries. I spent the next 2 weeks in Old Bennington with mis-matched eyes that really couldn’t see to read. On 4/1/2020, I got a contact for my left eye that brought it to the same level as my “fixed” right one. That allowed me to use “readers” available in many places to read again.


Kathy Wagenknecht


April 1, 2020

Spatial Coverage


eyes get tired after
years of looking
they haze and yellow
the inside of a window
in a smoker’s solarium

I scheduled my lens change
first one then the other
open replace close
like changing the oil
in an old stick-shift Chevy

I expected some changes
bright chrystiline light
a zoom-out function
superior to zoom-in
I thought I was prepared

events disabused me
“social distancing” “flattening
the curve” entered the vocabulary
eliminated elective procedures
stuck me in covid limbo

I tried to adjust as deaths
overtook morgue space
need out-paced aid
governors led as feds faltered
isolation was solace and fear

I gutted old spectacles
borrowed and bought new
learned to see well enough
to focus on a moment
women exceed at survival




Kathy Wagenknecht, “Covid Limbo,” COVID-19 Archive, accessed July 12, 2024,