Down with a Cold

He’s not allowed out with this cough. It could
be dangerous for old people, that’s what his
mum said. He’s read almost all of his comics
twice again already. Three weeks without
school is a long time.

Three weeks, his dad said, that’s nothing.
Grandad didn’t go to school for more than
three years in the war. Hopefully this won’t
last that long, he laughed. Then we’ll still be
here in 2023.

But his dad doesn’t joke all the time.
Sometimes he stares at his phone. Just now
he whispered something to Mum about
money and freelance.

How long is it going to take, when will things
get back to normal? He heard yesterday on
the news that it’s impossible to predict.

In bed he thought about Grandad and himself
in eighty years. How will he look back on
these strange corona days with his own

He really doesn’t know, though one thing
does seem sure. He’s not coughing quite as
much. His throat is not as sore.



Translated by David Colmer