Two Poems

By Shagun Singhal

Corona: A War

This is war.
And you, a warrior.
Chaos, all around you,
Suffering, pain and death.
But you must stand strong,
For yourself, your family,
And your friends.
The war is underway,
Here to stay.

Corona, Paranoia

Heavy lids, aching head,
Loss of appetite.
Panic on the rise.
“Covid?” ask the wise.
Sore throat, dry cough,
Prickling behind the eyes.
Hysteria is the prize.
“Covid?” ask the wise.
Shivering body, paining muscles,
Woke up feeling dead.
The terror multiplies,
“Covid?” ask the wise.
Shortness of breath?
Loss of taste? And smell?
Chills? Sweating?
Nausea or vomiting?
All the whats and whys,
“Covid?” ask the wise.

Shagun Singhal is an Indian poet and writer with a passion for writing coming-of-age women’s fiction. She has previously contributed her works in the anthology titled Pages of Diary. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram under the username @messyfirstdraft.

Life with Covid-19 is harsh. Mentally, physically, emotionally. There’s so much negativity all around that speaking my fearful thoughts aloud just felt like I was burdening my loved ones with my own worries as well. Talking about the negativity meant spreading it further. In these tough times, I found solace in writing poems. Both of these poems came from a dark period in my life.

When I wrote the poem ‘Corona: A War’ my family had been going through the pain of losing two close relatives on the same day to Covid-19. My parents were battling not only their grief but also anxiety, for their children, their spouse and themselves. One analogy that helped them ease their minds was the comparison of the pandemic to a war. Soldiers fall in wars too, and right now, during this pandemic, we are all warriors and our common enemy: Corona. We can’t let the news of fallen soldiers get us down, we have to keep going for the ones still standing. This poem was written with the intent to give courage to its readers. I hope it does, because courage and sanity is needed in abundance during a pandemic.

The second poem ‘Corona, Paranoia’ was written based off my personal experience. We all fell ill before Corona too, yet now even a hint of sickness raises our hackles. A common cold can make you dreadful, mild headache can make you alarmed. That morning when I wrote this poem, I had woken up with a bad headache and slightly blocked nose. The entire day had been so stressful for my family and I until it was confirmed it wasn’t Corona. The entire day was spent in isolation, checking for any other symptoms. Isolation made the paranoia worse. Corona is not just affecting us physically but also mentally and emotionally. Panic has become an unavoidable part and parcel of this pandemic. Even the slightest of the symptoms has us all jumping to the worst conclusions, not that people can be blamed for that. These are fearful times.

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Chetna Aggarwal
Chetna Aggarwal
7 months ago

Hey Shagun what you wrote is so damn relatable. Currently half of the population are having same feelings. We are stuck in this chaos with a constant fear in our hearts that someday we might lose our loved ones in this pandemic.
I lost my closed ones too and I can understand how it feels.
So, Thank you for writing this and making us realise that we are not alone.

Leslie Timmins
7 months ago

Hello Shagun: “Corona, Paranoia” really strikes home for me, as I’m sure it will for many others who read it. Once in awhile I felt some humour, as I’ve watched my own anxiety worsen over the last 16 months, so concerned for my beloved husband and our friends and family.. But not in the middle of the night, listening to my husband’s cough (he has an underlying condition that would make contracting Covid truly life-threating. You mentioning the loss of your close relatives brought this back to me. Please accept my sympathy. And thank you for what you’ve written here, all of it.

Shagun Singhal
Shagun Singhal
7 months ago
Reply to  Leslie Timmins

Hi Leslie!
I can relate to you. I try to find light-hearted humour in all of this as well. Because honestly, that’s the best we can do to lighten the tense conversations surrounding the virus. My grandma-in-law suffers an underlying condition that causes coughing fits. My father has a heart condition. So I understand what you mean. Everyone’s worried. For themselves, for their loved ones. These are scary times indeed.
Thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated. I’m glad you found my poem relatable.

Terveen Gill
7 months ago

Corona has led to paranoia. It’s really a dismal state of affairs. Everything starts and ends with the virus. It’s brainwashed everyone’s minds. No one I know has remained unaffected. Nicely written. 🙂

Shagun Singhal
Shagun Singhal
7 months ago
Reply to  Terveen Gill

I agree. Everyone I know has their own stories of pain and loss to share. It’s heartbreaking, really. I hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂

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