Breathe Deep

Barbara Rose Brooker
2 min readDec 7, 2020

I’m wheeled into the Xray room, where these two nice technicians inject dye into my arm. As I slide in and out of the humongous machine, the tall lanky technician about thirty, tells the other technician that he isn’t feeling well because someone infected, coughed in his face.

“Oh my God. Am I safe?” I ask, my breath puffing the mask over my mouth.

“Breathe deep!” the technician shouts. “ Don’t Talk! We’re starting!”

So as I slide in and out of the fucking machine, holding my breath and praying I don’t die from the virus, I zone out and pretend that I’m on a friggin beach.

Finally I’m back in the room, closing my eyes when I’m wheeled past people on respirators, into my little cubby room . Soon after the doctor looking exhausted, comes into, the room. She has “good news.” I sigh relief. “No abscess, vitals good. However, the antibiotics had made me sick so she prescribed an easier one and instructs me to start that night.
Relieved isn’t the word. I’m about to pounce off the bed when she says: ‘However the radiologist noticed an infection on your right lung and you should see a pulmonologist. It’s Mac.”
“Uhh uh,” I say. “Well, I know about that…lung business.”
“You need to take care of it. It’s deadly.”
“Uh huh, great. Yes, Will do.”
“Also, now that you’ve been exposed to the infection, you need to self quarantine for fourteen days.”
I dress quickly, and this time the next Uber driver is wearing a mask, a hat, dark glasses and gloves. He’s small and sits so low his head barely shows above the steering wheel. “Can you see to drive?” I ask, nervously.
“I’m legally blind, but I feel the roads,” he says, weaving the car in and out of the lanes.

I arrive home. I drop all my clothes in the laundry basket. I bathe in my lilac bubble bath, wash my hair for the second time, scrub my raw hands and wonder why I still have abdominal pain and nausea? I get the new prescription delivered and take the pill, as directed.

Later that night in bed, I watch the rest of Handmaids Tale, then the news about dickhead Trump . Finally, I fall asleep. Only to awake in the middle of the night with HUGE red hives covering my face, hands and body and itching like a mother. So much for the medication. Plus my muscles ache. But I do my own meditation. I go deep into my subconscious where you can be or do anything.

I breathe deep.

Barbara Rose is an author and she is putting together snippets, essays stories from living during the pandemic. Her books and TV appearances and podcasts are available on



Barbara Rose Brooker

Barbara Rose Brooker, author/teacher/poet/MFA, published 13 novels. Her latest novel, Feb 2020, Love, Sometimes, published by Post Hill Press/Simon Schuster.