Have you caught it yet?
The first wave or second, does it matter
If you catch it?
Can you really catch it? It's not as if you are
Chasing it at some virus party?
Is the virus chasing you? Do you feel it in your lungs? So then, isn't Covid catching you? If you think of it. It is coming for you?
Or, is it the other way around?
Who thinks about that? Who doesn't?
Don't we all?
Doctors, lawyers, politicians and beauticians
ENT specialists, physicists, epidemiologists
fans and rooters, protesters,
looters, shooters and polluters,
moms and dads, kids, lads and cads
teachers, and preachers, speechers,
anti-racists, anti maskers, hesitant vaxxers,
oldsters, elders, zoomers, and boomers,
entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, provocateurs,
vegetarians, antiquarians, climate changers,
fish mongers and fear mongers,
postmen, mailwomen, greengrocers, and BBQers.
They must think they all matter in their own way?
We are worried but in different ways. To gather or not to gather is the new "to be or not to be" literally.
Like Hamlet and Shakespeare, we all ask questions. So many questions.
Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague and a royally decreed lockdown of all theatres in filthy open-sewered, rat-infested London.
Would he think the coronavirus is sharper than a serpent's tooth if he lived today along with Kit Marlow?
Would he make new words as he did before like bandits and dauntless and dwindle?
Would he coin covidiot and quarantini or is that more the malaprop realm of Chuck Dickens?
Authors are history, aren't they?
In his plague-times did Camus write in the times of cholera or was it a fable about the need for people to help one another in a world of existential dread?
So many questions from the past in an echo.
Other diseases other times, is it all the hammer and dance of the human condition?
Echoes of black death, plague and more recently polio.
Another wasting disease that generated worry, stigma and fear of the other.
Shadow and darkness, dread and doom.
At its peak in free, big shoulders America, it killed over three thousand, in a year, and it arrested a nation. Three thousand. In a whole year. Polio.
Masks, lockdowns, outbreaks, quarantines, rumours, and conspiracies and fake cures and hopes and prayers. It all happened again.
I wonder if they thought those people, those innocent children, would die anyway each summer as if they had pre-existing conditions?
That it didn't matter or they were helpless to do anything?
That's what happened in Shakespeare's time when the Plague came killing.
Opened and closed as plague came in waves over seven years. Seven waves.
Did they think it was just a few people of millions? Did they compare it to suicide? Did they think they were living in trying times?
I wonder, did they think it was all fake and Salk was some charlatan? Did they think the UN
was a waste of time?
Their president too had the disease. Old Franklin Delano. Why did that change everything for them and not for us?
How did they feel after? How was it to go back to swimming pools, to summer camps, theatres and birthday parties? To be safe again?
How did it feel to have faith in science to save the sick from dying?
So many questions. Do we remember?
Can we remember?
It is so hard to make sense.
Did it feel like they were catching their collective breaths?