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COVID-19 Archive

Images and Stories from Vermont

Silver Linings of the Pandemic


Silver Linings of the Pandemic


As a teacher (I teach in Woodstock but live in Rutland), I miss being with my students on a daily basis: seeing them, adjusting lessons in the moment according to their needs, rather than having to have them out a week in advance. Now I have to check 2-3 times 75 documents a week to connect to them in a different way or hold a discussion via Zoom. However, I have found that personally, the pace of my day is less frenetic; I have time to stretch, reflect, walk, and breathe more even though I spend far more time sitting at a computer than I ever have. I used some of this time to write a personal card to each of my students. This reflective time is the silver lining for me that inspired this poem. I plan to build this reflection time into my normal routine when life returns to “normal”.


Michelle Renee Fountain


May 27, 2020


Michelle R Fountain

Spatial Coverage


Pre-Covid Morning

The alarm blares at 4am
I head bleary-eyed for the coffee maker
Scraping the sleep out of my eyes,
Staring at the darkness outside.

4:15am -on the computer.
Answering emails, finalizing lesson plans,
Searching for back work from students.

5:45am-hop in the shower,
Get dressed, make lunch,
walk the dog
(pee fast Freja, I need to get to school!)
6:45am- the 40-minute drive to school begins.

Silver Linings of Pandemic

We walk at dawn, my dog Freja and I.
The crispness of the morning tingles our skin,
Energizing our limbs as we listen to
The song of bird and branch.
The stillness of the morning
Contrasts with the brilliance of the sun
Rising over Killington Mountain,
Putting on a show just for us.

Back at home, yoga beckons.
The mat on the floor in my home office
Between the guest bed and my desk.
Freja mimics my downward dog
And licks my face as I make a bridge
Yet my mind quiets as my body stretches:

The meditative state of chavasenah
Leads me to the contemplation of verse.
A few poems to consider,
Reflect on, and connect to.
Some inspire journaling-
Others just thought.

Fully centered, coffee beckons.
Then a shower, then I return
To that home office glancing
Out the window at the
horse weathervane on top of the barn
and the cardinal or chickadee
In the pine tree beyond.

I turn on the computer
And begin to teach,
Holding on to the song of morning,
The stretching of my body and mind
And petting the dog at my feet.

Might the earth get a breather too?
Fewer carbon dioxide emissions
From cars and planes,
Fewer people out to interrupt
Animals in their natural world.
Scientists will need time to
Determine if there are benefits
And, if so, can we hold onto them?

Taking a walk at lunch, I notice
That although we cross the street
To breathe our own air,
We call out “Hello”, “How are you?”
To strangers now, truly caring
Even though we cannot connect.
What might be different when we can again?

Maybe the people and the planet will find some balance,
After this pause:
I hope we do.



Michelle Renee Fountain, “Silver Linings of the Pandemic,” COVID-19 Archive, accessed July 12, 2024,