Viral Logic

Updated: Jan 20

Written by Susan Hodara for the collection: 'Life in the time of #COVID'

I’m not going to get the virus. And if I do get it, I’m going to recover. I’m not going to die. Are you kidding me?

So why, then, when I wake up in the middle of the night with a stuffed nose, do I go into a small panic? I imagine trembling with chills, drowning my sheets with sweat, whatever the terrifying feeling is of not being able to breathe. What will I do? Where will I go? Will there be equipment to help me? Or will I actually close my eyes, surrender, and die?

I never get sick, I tell my family. But they remind me that I do, that I ended up in the hospital last year with epiglottitis, my throat on fire, my saliva accumulating in my mouth until I had to spit it into a tissue. A smart ENT doc admitted me to the hospital, where I was quickly hooked up to IV antibiotics and, I think, steroids, and two days later I headed home. But where did that come from – the minor sore throat that escalated in mere days? I was fine until I wasn’t.

I bring myself to easy tears when I think about dying and leaving my daughters behind. I know they will miss me terribly, but I cry because of how much I will miss them. I feel that loss even as I write this sentence.

I ask my husband, Paul, how much longer he thinks we’ll be living like this – isolated, masked, afraid. But then I remember, I’m not going to get sick. And Paul says he’s not either. Good for us. We aren’t going to die.

Susan Hodara is a journalist, memoirist and educator. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Communication Arts, Harvard Magazine and more. Her short memoirs have been published in a variety of anthologies and literary journals. Hodara is co-author with three other women of “Still Here Thinking of You: A Second Chance With Our Mothers” (Big Table Publishing, 2013), a collaborative memoir about their mothers. More at


While Valiant Scribe strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, it makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site. No warranty of any kind, implied, expressed, or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to the contents of this website or its links to other Internet resources.

Reference in this site to any specific information, commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Valiant Scribe.

Follow me


2020 by Valiant Scribe LLC​


  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook Clean
  • Amazon Social Icon