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Coronavirus: The early days



Coronavirus: The early days by Claire Foote


Marooned in networked isolation,

Desert isles with urban views,

Hand washing across the nation,

Pressing pause on all but news.


Waves of virus, lapping, silent,

At our shores of social norms,

Entreated to go home, stop mixing,

Stay inside, retreat, conform.


School’s out for summer, yet it’s springtime,

Youth’s ambition put on ice,

Exams abandoned, normal milestones

Cede to government advice.


Towns stand empty, pubs deserted,

Gyms, abandoned, streets are bare.

Shopping triggers panic purchase,

People urged to take more care.


National health staff battle daily,

Heroes to the gasping hordes,

Hospitals are swelling, creaking,

Nurses beg us, stay indoors.


Listen wisely, heed the warnings,

Learn from our Italian friends,

Stay inside and keep your distance,

Selfless acts for collective ends.

Let your hair grow long, unruly,

Greys uncovered, left undyed,

None of that is as important,

As the need to stem the tide.


Turn away from family gatherings,

Connect through email, Zoom each day,

Hunker down, stay safe, be watchful,

Rob the virus of its prey.


Remain in splendid isolation,

Cancel play dates, dine inside,

It’s only by our common action

That we will win and turn the tide.

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