Read 55-Word Stories

Read 55-word stories written by members of the Emory community


The virus is a wall that brought our lives to a shuddering, whip-lashing halt. It closed off my house turned self-isolation site; friends; and daily work. We are already casualties of a disaster that is in its infancy. The connection and freedom that saturated our lives went unnoticed. Now everything is different. I am mourning.

Emily Trautner, Medical Student

And yet

My team tells me, “Don’t come in tomorrow. We have no non-COVID patients. There’s no one for you to see. You’re just an unnecessary vector.” I agree. And yet… If I don’t learn to care for these patients now, how will I know what to do when I’m their doctor in four months? And yet…

Emily Woods, Medical Student


Stay home. 
The recommendations ring in my ear. 

Text alerts echo despite these strict remarks. 
Plans to celebrate, 
Invitations unanswered. 

Years in the making, 
A life of service awaits. 
Me or we, 
Forced to choose again. 

While others gather, 
I am alone. 

Together isolation, 
Feels a little less lonely. 

Here I wait, 
Until others join.

Anonymous, Medical Student

On Sacrifice

The right to celebrate, 
Both life and death. 

He is robbed of both. 
Declared too “high risk”. 

While his first grandchild is born, 
And his father is laid to rest. 

Life moves forward with no delay. 

Photos of the baby, 
Amidst a virtual funeral service. 

A choice to sacrifice today, 
bring hopes for tomorrow.

Anonymous, Medical Student


The word hums our lips. 
Fear we spread 
is peanut butter thick, 
our humor dry crackers. We feel it in our teeth, 
sticky residue. We cover our silent mouths 
with masks, shaking hands with gloves. 
Exposure is a thin line. 
Shields for our eyes 
and gowns for our bodies until 
we can’t see ourselves. 
We say these things will help.

Sophia Gorgens, Medical Student


I’m worried.
I’m worried about my countries.
I’m worried about my loved ones.
I’m worried about those on the frontline.
I’m worried about my Megs, a doctor in rural South Africa. She has no PPE but she has the biggest heart.
I’m worried about those who live in townships.
I’m worried.
I’m worried.
I’m worried.

Kerryn Roome, Medical Student

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