#TheWrite2Heal: April 2020, Writing in the Time of Coronavirus

During the month of April 2020, in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, WriterHouse established a weekly prompt to help our community maintain a writing practice in these challenging times. 

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2005), “writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to result in improvements in both physical and psychological health, in non-clinical and clinical populations.” Researcher M. Cecil Smith of NIU (2011) also found that “it has been demonstrated, across a variety of investigations, that writing activities yield a number of intellectual, physiological, and emotional benefits to individuals. These benefits include improved memory function, decreased symptomatology, and greater feelings of happiness.”

We encouraged writers to send their work to us for publication on this page. While not everyone was willing to have their work made public, we hope that responding to the prompts helped channel feelings in a productive way. 

Feel free to continue to respond to these prompts, and to send us your work if you are so inclined. Happy Writing! 

Writing Prompt – April 24, 2020

“Where is the first place you will visit once social distancing is relaxed, and why?”


Writing Prompt – April 17, 2020

“What has been most helpful to you during this period of social distancing?”


Writing Prompt – April 10, 2020

“A surprising thing I have discovered about myself during the pandemic is…”


Writing Prompt – April 3, 2020

“In the tragic time of this pandemic, please share an act of kindness you have either witnessed or heard about.”


Life in the Time of Coronavirus: The Restaurant Take-Out Experience
By Denise Jordan-Davis

Is Cava even open? I wondered.

I clicked “VA” on the website

And scrolled down to find that my store was accepting orders online.

I was thrilled.

At least this part of my life could continue.

At 11:45am, I approached the parking lot.

I knew it would be empty.

Usually on a bright Sunday like today you couldn’t get a spot.

Now, I could pick any spot I wanted.

I braced myself as I opened the door,

Knowing I would find the store empty,

Knowing there would be no conversations reverberating around the walls.

The silence was eerie.

Chairs were folded onto tables with signs that said

“Don’t sit.”

Three employees greeted me,

A young woman and two young men.

I made sure to put extra emphasis on my “Thank you”

And they told me to “Stay healthy.”

Who knew that would be a phrase we would come to say

As normally as “Hello” or “Good-bye”?

I got home and took my grain bowls out of the bag.

On the receipt, written in thick, black marker, was

“Thank you!” with a smiley face.

I don’t recall receiving a message like that before.

In hindsight, I wish I had stayed for a minute to talk to the employees.

It didn’t occur to me at the time that I may have been the first customer

They had seen, or one of the very few they would see all day.

Normally, the employees are so busy during the lunch rush,

No one even bothers to see that I’ve picked up my order.