Creative Writing – COVID as Inspiration

This term Class 9/10 students were set an imaginative writing task to explore the idea of Covid-19 as a character. Using first person point-of-view in a diary format, students explored the personality, feelings and motivations of this key protagonist of the world’s current pandemic. Is COVID happy to be free, desperate to be loved, excited about all the fuss or devastated by its newfound powers? Is it looking for a home, searching for understanding, looking for prey or does it just want to make friends? The students’ responses were creatively original, brilliantly diverse, and terrifying in their reflections of the current events taking hold in our world.  Just a note – as you can imagine, the content is quite intense, often graphic, rather sad and very grim!

What a Wonderful World by Sage

Whoops, dammit. Sorry old person. Oh god I hate the taste of old lungs. God it stinks down here. Oh, come on just cough. Ok almost there yes… yes, I’m out. 

Ok, so I guess I should introduce myself. I’m Jaimie the shapeshifting demon but you probably know me as, Covid-19. 

To start off, would just like to say sorry to all those people I’ve killed these past eight months and blah-blah-blah ok I don’t really care, I just like pretending I do. So, I guess I shouldn’t have put you all at risk but whatever; it’s fun watching you humans overreact. Also, Hell is a really boring place and I really needed a holiday, so here I am. 

Ok, so, the reason I spent so much time in China is because Chinese lungs taste so good; it’s probably because they drink so much green tea. I also loved the crazy outfits they came up with to try and prevent me from getting to them and even though I can get through plastic I let those people go just for their creativity; I really do have a kind heart.  

Look, I don’t mean to brag, but I sure travelled fast. I mean, when you get free tickets it’s easy to travel. The Ruby Princess cruise was my best score. Oh man did my germs feast then; the only problem was there were a lot of old people on that cruise. I can live on old people, but they stink so I would prefer them young; like you prefer your meat fresh. 

I don’t know why my germs don’t work on young people; I mean half the young people I infected barely even got sick! It might be because I’m pretty young as well. Compared to all the other demons I’m also weak; I haven’t even got enough strength to kill off a bunch of young people. Young people blah-blah-blah I could complain about them all day, but moving on…  

Earth is really rubbing off on me and I’m thinking of moving here for good. Maybe I can create some other disease that will kill off young people as well. Then I can live on Earth all by myself and make it into the place I want it to be, a place without humans. First, I need to grow more powerful, so then I can kill off the humans, but for that I’ll need to go back to Hell. Maybe I’ll just ask my parents to come – my parents are kind of these crazy demons that have absolutely no humanity; they could kill you all in one go but that wouldn’t be any fun. For me, I like to see every one of my victims die just so I can know that I killed them. It makes me feel calm knowing that those people were in a better place and now they’re going to Hell. I guess the way I do this is kind of old school ‘cause no demon does that anymore. They just kill and move onto the next, but I like to see people’s last moments in life. My parents are the quicker option, but we’ll see, we’ll see how I feel next Tuesday. 

USA506 by Issi

I’m walking through the grimy back streets of Brooklyn. There is one window high up on the wall to my left providing the only light. I’ve been walking all night and have met nobody. Now that everybody is in and alerted it is a lot harder to catch people; now people are cautious and get mad if you accidently bump into them. I hope management doesn’t get mad that my numbers have gone down.  

My phone starts to buzz and I know who it is. It’s the only people who have my number. I pick up the phone and just as I thought, it’s management. I press answer and an automated voice starts to speak:  

“Covid USA 506 your numbers are terrible you need to work harder or you will be tenanted and replaced.”  

I cut over the voice and say, “It’s a lot harder now the humans are being careful.”  

“That’s not an excuse – start going to people’s houses.” 

The phone starts beeping and management is gone.  

I’m walking through the grimy back streets of Brooklyn. There is one window high up on the wall to my left providing only a dim light. I’ve been walking all night and haven’t met a soul. Now that everybody is in and alerted it’s a lot harder to catch people; now people are cautious and get mad if you accidently bump into them. I hope management doesn’t get mad that my numbers have gone down.  

My phone starts to buzz and I know who it is – it’s literally the only people who have my number. I pick up the phone and as I thought its management. I press answer and an automated voice starts to speak.  

“Covid USA 506 your numbers are terrible – you need to work harder or you will be tenanted and replaced.”  

I cut over the voice and say, “It’s a lot harder now the humans are being careful.” 

“That’s not an excuse – start going to people’s houses.” 

The phone starts beeping. Management is gone. 

I start to walk, not knowing or caring where I’m going. I start to think about how I’m going to do this. I don’t think that management solution of just walking into people’s homes will work. I think that my best chance of getting my numbers up will be to go to a hospital and infect people that way.  I start to walk, knowing that they will never be happy even if I infect all of Brooklyn.     

Peter by Stella

Alright. First ever diary entry. I’m not really quite sure how to go about this. 

Dear Diary, 

Hi. My name is Pete, and I’m the leader of the thirty-second Australian Unit. I’m sure you don’t know what I mean by that. I’ll have a go at explaining. 

You’ve heard of Covid-19, right? We are Covid-19. That probably doesn’t make too much sense at the moment, so I’ll try to explain further. Think of it – think of us – like a gigantic ant’s nest. One nest, hundreds of workers. That’s us. One virus, billions upon billions of workers. The virus is like a company, with bases and heads of departments and things like that. Still a little confusing, but that’s about as clear as I can get it.  

I’m so glad that I’ve finally got a chance to put all this down on paper. Things have been so hectic for the past few months; I’ve barely had time to sleep. I suppose that all this is good for the business, but it’s been awfully stressful for me. I was happy enough when we took off in China. That was the biggest that business had ever been. And then some bright young kid had this ‘brilliant’ idea to ‘expand to a global platform’, and of course the board accepted it. I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on the poor kid. Everybody thought it was a great idea at the time, even me. But we just had no idea how big it would get. We just weren’t prepared. 

The company sent out the first Australian unit in January. It wasn’t too successful at first, but the company kept pushing it. My boss was surprised when I signed up for Australia. I was already quite a senior member of the company, so I was expected to go to one of the countries where business was already good, like Italy or the US. But I’d always wanted to see a kangaroo, ever since I was a child, so I volunteered to lead a unit and we were deployed in April.  

As leader, I’ve been kept safe, or as safe as possible. Directing the workers, the soldiers if you like, from a distance. The sadness of this is that so many of them have been killed. It breaks my heart every time I hear the news that, yet another promising young worker has been drowned in sanitiser or scorched away by tea. It’s numbing, a sort of grief for this loss, this loss of young lives. Especially as it is a loss that could so easily be prevented.  

I should stop writing now. Work will be resuming soon, and a new unit’s getting sent out today. It’ll be my job to show them around.  

I don’t know how to finish this, so I guess I’ll just sign off. Not a nice clean ending, but it’s as good as it’s going to get.  

Thanks, Diary, for listening. 

But I’m Winning by Meike

I walk the quiet streets, once busy with families, markets and food. The glow of TVs now creeping through closed curtains. They can’t see me, they can’t hear me, but I take them out one by one. They sit in their rooms and watch shows about famous killers, but I’m the one they should be afraid of; I’m the one under their beds when they fall asleep. They watch horror movies and their tiny hearts skip a beat at the first glimpse of a clown, but I know I’m the only one who can make their hearts stop all together. 

I’m not like other killers: I don’t hide in the shadows or behind a mask. I don’t sneak through the streets or run from the cops. I am the cops, I am the shadows, I am your neighbour, your parents, the sweet old lady from down the road. They run, they hide, but I’ll always be there. I always have been. I’m getting better; I’m getting stronger and I won’t stop. The worst thing about these killers is that they stick to a country, a city, a town even. Nah, not me – I’m going for the whole world. 

They think I’ve gone away, like Jack the Ripper when the police started to catch up? I just prefer the chase. It’s hard to chase people when they’re trapped inside, glued to their phones. They need to wake up, they need to know how deadly, how scary and how dangerous I really am. What is the point of all this death if no one gives me the credit I deserve? They keep trying to blame others for my work. They blame those who go out during the day and have coffee on a park bench. That’s not fair to me. I work hard; I put the effort in. They just make my job a little easier. I’m doing what I do best: spreading. 

I’m bored walking the streets alone. I miss the noise, the hustle, the excitement. I’ll take a break, let them think I’ve gone away. I can be patient. I’ll miss them while I’m gone but I’ll be back soon. They’ll go back to normal and I’ll give them a few weeks to settle in. I’m not a monster. They can see their friends and go to concerts. I’ll let them have their fun, but I’ll be back. Just as they begin to feel normal again. They don’t know it yet but I’m not even halfway done. Why would I stop now? I’m the one winning.