The smell of sulphur filled the room and woke her up. It was pitch black. She hurriedly turned on the bedside lamp, knocking over the famed naked photo of herself washing a car.
The stench was putrid now. She moved tentatively towards the closet, goosebumps pricked her skin. An ice cold breeze swept by her face. ‘Ahhh’ she screamed as the door flung open slamming her to the floor. Scrambling to get up, screaming and punching the air, she was silenced. Cold hands around her throat, eyes bulging.
Breathe, said the river as it whispered to the sea Something is happening, the cowslip is growing free Bees are feasting on the broom, a delicious yellow delight Happy in their busy dance, what a wondrous sight Birds surveying the landscape in noisy melody Observing all the changes as he flies from tree to tree And the mountains echo as the hawk and eagle soar The beasts, the deer’s the elephants, gave a triumphant roar Breathe whispered the estuary as it washed into the sea Look at the fishes dancing, oh so merrily The crabs the sharks the jellyfish, maintain their habitat No longer caught in the destruction of man, and all that came with that but as the mist is lifting, like a bride to be’s veil We see the glorious beauty, of a world that never fails Just as mother nature, intended it to be Her creation will provide enough for the likes of you and me For a while she was raging and her arteries were blocked Choking, coughing spewing and dying with toxic shock So breathe said the wind, as it sent out clean fresh air The people get the message and now they’re feeling scared Let’s hope they remember the devastation caused As they watch the planet breathe again, when they were put on pause
Not many of us expect to be talking about our ‘final wishes’ at a young age. That is usually for the very rich or the very old, who make provisions for what is to happen to them at ‘the end’. This pandemic may give us all a different view on that now.
I was thinking about the Oscars, I don’t know why, because I never watch them fully, but I do sometimes watch the edited highlights. I watch as the camera pans to the celebrity that has been nominated, all of them tentatively smiling, looking coy or bashful, but hopeful that they will win the Oscar. One of them will read the speech which they had prepared, in the hope that they might win. So many potential speeches waiting to be read, full of thanks and praise for many, including their loved ones
We are currently going through a pandemic; this time it has the full attention of the world. When it was the Bird Flu, or SARS or even Ebola, the whole world didn’t quite take note as they are now. I myself, carried on as normal at that time, thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and I am sure there are many people who thought the way I did then.
This time it is a different story. This time the virus is spreading like wildfire and like other viruses, it does not discriminate against age, sex, race, disability, marital status or religion. This one is abiding by the Equality Act and each of us must take note.
We have all become accustomed, at this stage, to know what ‘Social distancing’ ‘wash your hands’ lockdown’ and PPE mean. It has become part of our everyday dialect and vocabulary. My 3-year-old beautiful grand-daughter calls it the ‘Virusy’ and wonders when it will go away so that she can give me a hug again. How I long for it to be over now, so I can give her and my 3 other grandchildren a big squeezey hug. I cannot answer her with certainty, no-one can. Instead we have to ‘make do’ with the occasional ‘window visit’.
What I do know is that the longer people flout the rules and don’t engage in social distancing, washing hands, remaining in lockdown or having the required PPE, the longer this virus will dance with us and pick us off one by one and none of us will know for sure, if we will survive it.
From healthcare workers to people on the street, Actors, models and even the UK Prime minster, young, old and in between people are contracting this virus and people are dying. It’s like a lottery, people are chosen at random but there are no winners, only losers. Sure lots of people will get over it and survive, but with what long lasting damage to their lungs? Others, not so lucky to survive.
This brings me to the Oscars. What if you get it? You don’t know if you will survive it. You have to be prepared. You have to have your ‘speech’ ready. You have to tell your loved ones, not only that you love them, that you will miss them, that you don’t want to leave them, you have to tell them what they have to do with you, if you do indeed, leave them.
Some families only think about having to bury their elderly relatives, but this virus can take any of us and we need to let our families know, what and how we would like to happen to us at the end. Whether that is to be cremated or buried. Whether it is to be repatriated home if you live/work in another country or indeed which graveyard to be buried in. Is this morbid, no I don’t think so. It is necessary. Not everyone has made a Will. Talk to your loved ones, let them know what you would like to happen to you, ‘just in case’ you are the one.
Write your closing speech. Your speech of acceptance, in the event that it is you. Write it in a letter. Tell your parents, your siblings, your children, your grandchildren, your friends. Tell whomever is dear to you, what they mean to you, in your closing speech. Be prepared. You may never get this virus and the letter will then never have to be read out, just like the nominees at the Oscars, they go home with their unread speeches if they didn’t win. You get to keep your letter if you are lucky enough to not contract this virus.
In the meantime, follow the rules to slow the spread and flatten the curve. Keep our Healthcare workers as safe as possible, by staying home. Allow them to not to have to be crushed by an overwhelming workload, in these extraordinary circumstances, and often, without the proper PPE. Give them some respect. If you do not stay home and follow the rules you are risking their lives as well as your own. They already have enough of a burden to bear, being in the midst of this pandemic and watching people suffer and die on a daily basis. Please do not add to their burden unnecessarily.
Take care, stay safe, stay home and give your ‘speech’ some thought as well as your wishes.
in these uncertain times we have enough to worry about. The most important thing to worry about it staying safe and well and keeping others safe and well. Worrying about rent, mortgages, businesses etc should not be part of our burden now. I think the governments, around the world should just press pause, from the beginning of march and reboot, when this is all over, so no more debt accumulates, adding to people’s already enormous burden of keeping well.
It didn’t seem so serious, not really
Not at first
Everyone carried on as normal engaging with life
Wrapped up in it, in work or family, despair, debt
The rat race
December, a month of mixed emotions
Full of demands, from excitement to dread
A new unexpected trend was banded about this year
It was ‘Corona Virus’
We heard it mentioned, but it was ‘over there’
We carried on as normal, in the rat race
Wrapped up in work, in family, in despair and debt
Beware the ides of March!
Now we began to listen to take notice
It was here, it was everywhere
Stockpile, panic buy, carry on
With daily life, with family, work, despair and debt
Spreading, dying, ignorance and fear
Essential, frontline, social distancing, cocoon
Wash, wash wash your hands
Don’t touch your face
Stay safe at home
Get out of the rat race
Flatten the curve, it will save lives
Don’t be a fool, ignorance is not bliss
It is fatal
The world is broke, full of despair, fear and debt
Take time to reflect.
With fresh eyes, find a way
It’s about people and love and life
The rat race, dead in the water
It’s a boulder, laying heavy on your shoulder
The graves are the same depth
When it’s over, when it’s been contained
Let a new contagion begin
A kind one, a helpful one, a fair one
Not one full of ignorance, hate, debt or regret
Press play and begin anew
Wipe the slate clean
Let families flourish and businesses carryon
Without the noose
We are all in the same boat
Let’s not accumulate the entire ocean in it and sink
A new world, a new world game
The human race
Let’s heal the world, play your part
Let our leaders play theirs
Let them lead, honourably, wisely, honestly and fairly
So that we can embrace the pause
So we may cocoon and stay safe at home
So we may slow the spread
So that we may flatten the curve
So that we may not put our essential frontline staff at risk
So that our frontline staff may be rewarded for their bravery