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Image for the news item 'A creative writing prompt... from Robert Macfarlane' on 10 Jun 2020
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

We are not the first age to respond to pestilence and pandemic, nor will we be the last. The word "quarantine" comes from the Italian "quaranta", and refers to the forty-day period of isolation that was imposed on ships arriving into European ports during medieval times of plague (originally the time-period was thirty days, and the term was "trentina"). Your prompt is to write about "quarantine" and isolation in some way; now, or historically, or in an imagined future; personally or hypothetically; in a poem, a short story, an essay, or any form that seems fit to you.

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