The day that I sat down to write this was the next morning after President Donald A. Trump had been hospitalized for testing positive for COVID-19 and it was also the day that the total number of positive cases in the United States had risen to 7, 334, 054 and the number of deaths in the US had risen to 208,731 souls. (John Hopkins University, 2020). The figures were astounding! I remember thinking , “What might we have done, as human beings, to prevent or even to lessen the number of deaths?” At the time, many citizens in our country believed that the President of the United States could have acted sooner and perhaps in some ways, possibly prevented so many deaths…or possibly decreased the magnitude of the vast spread of the deadly virus. Those opinions, I will leave to each of my readers. However, What I will do is use my poetry to begin yet another conversation about the value of human life and my growing concern over witnessing society place a premium on some lives and absolutely no value at all, on the lives of others.
“Drifting into a Historical Mist of COVID-19: What will be our Legacy?”
By: Daphne Knox McClain
Waking up with a sign signaled by pain , a simple cough— a cold perhaps? A yawn, a stretch, a smile or even a deep inward breath is but a dream—seems like a hundred years ago… those days are over. A reflection of a typical day is now…
Mothers awakening with a fear and sickness in the pits of their stomachs of having to send their kids off to school and the worry that the bodies of their children will be silently invaded by a Stalking Virus with a microscopic 6 foot-long-tail…in fear of COVID-19.
Fathers go off to work deeply rooted in stress, over the idea of bringing that horrible, possibly deadly Virus back home to their families and having to live with the burden of that rapidly approaching guilt…in fear of COVID-19.
Children are yet laughing, holding hands, joking with friends, hiding secret kisses, playing sports of all kinds, running, jumping, screaming with joy, pulling down the masks – unaware – and in some cases simply unafraid that danger looms in the air; they have not enough wisdom to live…in fear of COVID-19.
Elderly citizens staying inside, taking life slow and easy—holding conversations, sharing intellectually filled tales of yore, experiencing the truths of being sacrificial lambs…in fear of COVID-19.
Educators preparing each morning a lesson , a lecture, a mask or TWO, a clear shield for their faces and a prayer…this is their PPE- professionals under pressure to educate—teaching how to wear masks, how to wash and sanitize hands and how to watch distances…in fear of COVID-19.
Health providers doing what they can, diagnosing the unknown, explaining questionable science, pretending to have the answers, predicting a vaccine, but really knowing nothing—watching lives slip away…in fear of COVID-19.
Lawyers are waiting in the shadows for the pay offs to come pouring in—lawsuits becoming their middle names…in fear of COVID-19.
History will tell our stories. History will reveal our mistakes.
History will explain our foolishness.
History will forecast our survival or doom.
All wisdom will arrive too late for the names of loved ones engraved upon their tombs.
Will history record that we failed to make rational decisions? Will history cry out for recommence?Will history show quiet acceptance or will history leave evidence of a continuous War on an INVISIBLE ENEMY? How long must we live in fear…in fear of COVID-19?
~Daphne Knox McClain