By Steve Douglas
To intensive care and virus wards each day
In every town they make their way.
Caring souls, disguised in blue and white,
To fight against the Covid blight.
Shift after shift, through night and light
Brothers and sisters of mercy face up to our plight.
Masked, shielded, smocked and booted
lonely, fearful, solely commuted
on the near empty bus and tram
where no-one speaks or gives a damn.
So worried they may pass on this bug
to those at home they dearly love…
Many plot up in hostels and hotels
Exhausted, in a room that feels like a cell
Restlessly waiting to return to the hell
Of wheezing coughing comatose souls
Whose lives hang under God’s control.
Mothers, Fathers from Bolton to Cannes,
Uncles, Aunties, Grandads and Grans,
Sitting ducks for an invisible killer,
Waiting for help from the Governing tiller.
Mavis, fifty knows all their names,
Has no regrets from when she became
A carer who sings and gives pale cheeks a tweak
Trains young Alice whose been there two weeks.
They play Bingo and Chairobics with laughs a plenty
As each dawn sees another chair empty…
Carry on with a plastic apron and a pathetic mask
Risking all to perform their tasks…
All the management can do is ask and ask…
Politicians who have cultivated a mortal sin
And consigned our old folk to the recycle bin.
Ordinary people who deserve all praise
Weekly applause? No! Just PPE and a raise.
Posties, Farmers, Busmen and Food makers,
Supermarket lads and lasses, Butchers and Bakers,
Coppers, Binmen, Drivers and Foodbank folk
Keep this septic country from going broke.
Squaddies are helping to get us all tested
So, isolation shackles may be lifted…
Until then, lockdown breakers like Westminster Bridge
Stay home you fools with your overloaded fridge.
Was it you who bought all the gel and bog rolls?
Should get your collars felt by the numpty patrol.
One day in the future…if we are still here
We will look back to this time and our great fears
And judge whether fat cats came before compassion
Or economic worries outweighed oxygen rations
Failure to plan and stock up for a pandemic scene
Voted down Nurses pay to cheers by the mean
Decade of healthcare cuts and shaming disabled
‘We’re all in it together’ is just a fable.
So, will those ‘in charge’ face the fallout?
For them there should be no hideout.
Will Boris pull out some of his blonde locks?
It’s up to us at the next Ballot Box.
Write poems, short stories, the odd drama, mostly about slices of life, people and emotive subjects, dark, comedic, and everyman events that affect us all. Contribute to several on line writing sites.
This was written at the height of the first wave of the pandemic when virtually the whole planet was in total lockdown. I was so frustrated and angry with the actions of the UK Gov regarding lack of adequate support for the NHS and Caring community and some sections of the public that I had to express what I felt about the situation and I also wanted to contribute to the support and admiration for all carers and workers who have continued to see us through this covid nightmare.
As a carer myself, for my wife Geraldine, and as both of us are in our mid sixties we have been isolated more than most during this pandemic and continue to be fearful in the current 2nd wave rise as we live in a one of the nations hotspots here in Bolton. Most level minded folk would have predicted this new situation given the absolutely useless handling of the crisis by the insular, self important Tory government who have shown gross incompetence on many levels and stand accused of facilitating flagrant profiteering for party funders/sympathisers via gov contracts granted (PPE, Track &Trace) without tender when expert UK firms are ignored.
We are in a Covid childcare bubble with our daughter and 2 young grandchildren but the fact that they are both attending primary school and our daughter is a supermarket worker is a worry for Covid spreading. Only this week the youngest at 4 has to have 2 weeks isolation from school as both nursery and reception have been closed as a teacher tested positive. We found it hard not seeing anyone (apart from at 2m from the front door) during the full lockdown and have both had NHS consultations for possible surgery deferred because of the pandemic although our GP surgery have done their best to support us. Geraldine has just had an operation done on an arthritic cyst on her hand which should have been done over 6 months ago. The fact that we are both poets, have a small garden and my own allotment helped to keep our sanity during the crisis offering a temporary escape from harsh realities and blundering gov ministers. We have no faith in anything they say/do now and view a lot of the media, particularly the BBC and most of the press, as complicit in the tory fiasco. The anger and frustrations that started to build around the time of the first lockdown in March fired my need to write something and that inspired this poem.