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Who would have thought that masks would become an essential accessory, always carried in a handbag or pocket? Who could have foreseen the use of mobile phones to check into every public venue – including for grocery shopping?How about ‘social distancing’ – keeping a gap from others when queuing or moving around? And, what of lockdowns, which have caused loss of income for thousands of people, prevented visits to family members and friends, and disruption to wedding plans, funerals and other significant events?
How has the Covid 19 epidemic affected you?Have you lost a loved one or been laid off work? Have you suffered ‘big time’ or have the past two years been more of an inconvenience? Health workers throughout the world have been stretched to the limit and uncertainty has affected the mental health of many, including students who have been locked out of school. For older people, mask wearing and ‘checking in’ have been challenging. Hearing aid wires get tangled up with elastic behind the ears, making removing a mask tricky as hearing aids may be flicked onto the ground. Mastering the use of a mobile phone for tracking purposes has proved difficult for many elderly citizens. At work and in schools, standards of personal hygiene have improved with frequent hand-washing and hand-sanitising. Staying at home when unwell has lowered the incidence of ‘catching the ‘flu!’ However, mask-wearing workers and students, have found it hard to talk to each other and teachers have struggled to be heard in class. For me, the impact of Covid 19 has been minimal as I work from home as a member of a curriculum writing team. My tutoring sessions with local students had only to be shut down for one term in 2020. Remembering to have a mask with me and my phone charged have been small inconveniences. The biggest challenge has been to sing in church while wearing a mask!
The futureMask wearing may become a thing of the past, so I have written a poem to remind me of the challenges that the Covid 19 virus brought to the world in 2020-2021. Maybe it will remind you too.
MASKS – An acrostic poemMemories of masked bandits, masquerades and super-heroes, stir the imaginings of the mind.
Apologetic faces swathed in masks of folded fabric, expressionless or taciturn, assault conscious thought.
Startled eyes dart furtively, measuring social distance to maintain personal safety as people pass on by.
Kind smiles dissipate frustration when the elderly and frail fumble with their phones to check in on an app.
Silently, the virus stalks stealthily among us, till vaccines stem the tide restoring life, health and peace.