A sickness scraped its way through Black Hall Hospital.

Orderlies, nurses, administrative staff, patients, all of us…infected. A riot of respiratory phlegm, scraping nails in our chests, sour regurgitations of grey gravy and meatless meat options, and pulsing pains penetrating our joints.

Fucking COVID. Whatever strain we’re on.

Patients and staff who weren’t infected glided bleach and white rags over every surface. The staff got to wear gloves. The patients did not. When one patient’s skin cracked and bled, another patient “voluntarily” stepped in to finish the job. The fumes and chemicals gave everyone headaches, but no one could deduce if it was really that or a symptom of the sickness. One patient drank the bleach. They took him away. He hasn’t come back yet.

My therapist is scheduled to come back on Friday. Does he know how things work here, or rather don’t work here?

My roommate is leaving me tomorrow. And there is a new patient wandering the halls.

I feel the seed of catastrophe ruminating below the hospital. How will I leave here? Bleeding, broken, or dying?


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