Essential

The busses arrived today to drop off the construction workers. They’ve been deemed essential, and they pile out of the bus into the sunshine of another workday. Are they grateful? Are they afraid? Their jefe instructs some to fix their masks to cover their noses.

As Chile begins to fire punches at another round in this heavyweight bout with biology, the virus has bobbed and weaved its way into every round with lethal efficiency. Chile has started landing punches though all while hospital beds begin filling again. Vaccines are rolling out with great efficiency. Government controls have helped across the country.

We are inside teaching from behind computers again listening to the construction workers across the street build hundreds of homes on a sprawling hillside. One worker pulls down his mask and whispers into a co-worker’s ear. They laugh heartily into one another’s face, and we wonder if Covid is landing an upper cut on a Monday morning.

We are boxing fans, immune now to the violent routine of combinations and jabs, anticipating a knockout that refuses to come. No one knows any longer what round it is. Punches are little less precise as busses fill and masks slip down below our noses. But the footing is a little less certain for our opponent as Chilean arms fill with Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines. A year after round one, we just might be starting to take the fight to Covid, and it feels good.

2 thoughts on “Essential

  1. A well-crafted slice dripping with figurative language. I agree that we are all “anticipating a knockout that refuses to come.” Losing count of the rounds and footing are vivid examples of pandemic fatigue. I’m with you, let’s not let our guard down. With the vaccine’s help, let’s get that KO.

    Liked by 1 person

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