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June 15, 2020

The Quarantine Chronicles, Day 62

DAY 62: Vietnam was my Vietnam.
Not HIV/AIDS or the more recent
pointless wars, I grew up with
nightmares about Vietnam, it
consumed my teen years, it was
the monster in my closet, the
huge black shadow over the boy
-- today, in 2 months, in the U.S.
(the Vietnam killer) the number
of dead from the horrible virus
surpassed the 58,000 of a 10-year
war -- my God, my God!

If Vietnam changed my whole
life -- the protests, marches
loneliness (of being anti- in a pro- 
town), the fear (of my 2-years in 
prison, expected but not accepted)
if I'm still scarred 50 years
later like all men my age who
went or didn't, then what will
happen inside this generation
of the covid-war, the climate-war
the scarred for life who might
still live in 2100? 

What part of the soul is their Vietnam 
War? that place burnt with a white-
hot iron, cauterized but unbear-
ably painful, hypertrophic scar tissue 
never to be soft again -- a 60-day 
Vietnam -- the horror,
the indescribable horror.


E. Martin Pedersen said...

Vietnam has 324 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 323 recovered, 0 deaths.
The U.S. has 2,132,468 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 653,952 recovered, 117,400 deaths.
Who should be learning from whom?

E. Martin Pedersen said...

The population of Vietnam is 95 million; the US is 328 million, so Vietnam is between a third and a quarter of the size of the US. See comment above.