As we press on, foreword by Kelvin Kellman

In modest terms, it is perhaps safe to say that this is the gloomiest of Easters in decades, the worst April in many years now. Covid-19 being the singular mischievous culprit, as it has brought down economies and forced nations, however powerful, however forerunning, on their knees. The death toll is not only alarming, so is the re-infection rate, as folks who have recovered find themselves catching the virus again. Critics of extreme capitalism postulate that maybe the world and its greed will understand for once, the importance of socialist democracy, which some of the most stable economies in Europe have in place that have availed them readiness through savings for such global pandemic; that now that everything has grinded to a dismal halt, perhaps billionaires in their wanton appetite for gain can eat all the monies in their coffers.

In other news, in the developing world, there is a conspiracy theory floating the sphere linking the virus to 5G. Theories about how sects that control the world plan to systematically wipe out much of humanity through 5G which they claim bred the virus.

All’s not lost. As we must remember that in moments like these, our collective humanity will ever be our greatest weapon, our greatest strength. While the doleful news of deaths and re-infection weighs heavily on us, we must also remember that recovery rate trumps both. And this silent truth must be our focus.

As wont, we at The Stockholm Review in our curating powers have shaped new narratives for company in these trying times. Narratives that reinforce this truth of our collectiveness and strength. A poem here, a short story there, on and on until the weight of the season blows over. With fiction from Fred Bubbers and Declan Toohey, a review of Unoma Azuah’s queer non-fiction, and a plethora of poems by Peter Akinlabi, Alisa Velaj, Seth Jani, and Robert Beveridge. Perhaps this helps alleviate our self-isolation and quarantining blues. Perhaps not. But we are hopeful that it does as it did for us, as human nature for the most part, irrespective of culture, skin, and creed, is the same the world over.

Issue 31.

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