On 10 May, just 7 weeks into Sydney’s lockdown, I overheard a good-looking young woman talking on her mobile phone at the pedestrian crossing. I came home, repeated her remark to Michael, and sat down to write the following piece of doggerel.
“I’m totally over Covid!”
Said the pretty girl into her phone.
I came home and told my beloved,
Who said, “She isn’t alone.”
At the risk of becoming a moaner,
I’m totally over corona.
I’m feeling just like the phoner
Who certainly isn’t a loner,
Becoming bovine or bovid –
At that time, we were only supposed to leave the house for a few defined purposes. We couldn’t eat in restaurants, ask friends to visit, or get in hugging distance of anyone.
Our wings were clipped, no doubt about it.
But 17 weeks on, my rhyme looks decidedly petulant.
17 weeks on, petulance just won’t do.
So I’ll try to see it more positively.
I’d rather live in a country with a death rate of 4 deaths from COVID-19 corona virus per million of population, than one with more than 400 deaths per million.
I’d rather live in a country where decision makers listen to the health experts and base their decisions on evidence, than one where fear and egotism hold sway.
I’d rather live in a country with a safety net for most of the people who lose jobs.
I’d rather put up with a few restrictions than run the risk of a terrifying death.
I know there will be moments when I’m as petulant as the woman on the phone, and totally over the whole thing. Patience is not one of my virtues. I don’t always handle confusion and uncertainty well. Who does?
I didn’t like cancelling overseas travel. I do worry about my family members in the US. There are plenty of minor irritations, and occasional dark moods.
But “totally over”? If we’re nearer the start than the finish, we need more resilence than that.