On my desk, I keep an envelope. It's the month of March, in a strange qualitative form.
The envelope itself is from Fidelity, the firm that handled the 401K that was part of a past life, back when the for-profit art school gave us a 6% match for our retirement investment. I don't expect to ever see those days again.
There's a number on the envelope that tells the value of my holdings as of March 10. It was a drop, but not as much of a drop as I was expecting on the day I looked it up. That drop would be coming later.
The bulk of the numbers on the envelope chart the progress of COVID-19 across the globe. At one point, I looked up the number several times a day. I already understood the power of exponential growth, but if I didn't, those numbers tell a powerful tale.
Nestled among those numbers is information that seemed just as ominous at the time, but ominous only for me and my family, the diameter of a tumor. Happily, that tumor is gone now; despite the various restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, my relative was put on a fast track to get the cancerous tumor removed from the liver before it spread.
I keep thinking I could transform these numbers and this envelope into some kind of poem, but so far, I can't seem to make that magic happen. I also have a vision of the envelope in some kind of museum exhibit of daily life during a pandemic.
Maybe I'll just hang onto it. When I'm a little old lady and come across it, I wonder what memories it will spark. I wonder if I'll be having those memories with a sigh of relief at how we all dodged the worst, or with a shudder of dread, since I know what Kristin in March of 2020 couldn't know.
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