Pandemic Ponderings and Pain

Recently a colleague told of turning up to an old favourite cafe. It was closed. It made me ponder some of the last two and half years. The examples are by no way exhaustive. Just samples.

Pandemic Ponderings and Pain

i.

Astride a makeshift ergo stool

A teacher MS Teams her students, while

The eyes at the back of her head

Crane to the open door behind her, where

across the hall

Her own children logon

Uniformed in headphones

To their own class.

For whom is she the teacher?

Her class? Her kids? Or society?

Before this

Hybrid was a plant

Or a car

Not a learning style.

Learning from this all.

ii.

Through fog-misted glasses

A young registrar doctor

Glances at the nurse beside her

His temples almost bleeding

From the tightness the surgical mask creates

One of doctor’s colleagues resigned last week

One of nurses fainted on shift

A head injury making her a patient.

Is the virus the only health crisis?

How do we vaccinate exhaustion?

And treat mental health?

iii.

“Permanently closed”

The sign said

The window seats

Face the Lakeside views

With no one seated on them

No scents of steam or stir-fry fill the air

Covid cancel of a cosy lunch

Fancy a delivered meal on the duvet again?

With a streaming service soundtrack.

Another small business is no more.

iv.

User-paid solitary confinement

As aged care locks down once more

A room with a view,

Maybe,

Maybe not.

What day is it?

Staff slide meals and medications into my cell.

Might as well have the virus and be in bed

There’s little else to my day.

v.

Educators

Healthcare workers

Small business people

Those in residential aged care:

We may not see you

But we gaze in your direction

We can’t count your cost

But applaud your courage

Maybe someone will come,

we hope so

To admire your class

Or refresh your mask

Or present a new business opportunity

Or invite you out of your room

We thank you

You who keep us grounded

And who forge the frontiers

Of our new normal.

Simon C.J. Falk 5 July 2022

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