Pandemic Poem #17

Pandemic poem #17 came from musing over my Facebook and Twitter feed, on that day equal parts fun parody videos and sobering news items about our general unpreparedness and the scarcity of needed medical tests and equipment and lack of support for developing a vaccine. We can clearly see via the Internet that people are continuing to produce what they can during this pandemic; I can’t help but wonder what could be possible if the medical and science communities had had the resources they needed to properly address this disease, produce more and better tests, targeted treatments, a vaccine. When will we put our money into humans and not just making more money?

(Reading tip: if you are reading this on your phone screen, turning the screen sideways will result in a correct placement of each line; otherwise, they are broken up in unusual and not especially poetic fashion.)


Pandemic Pastimes and Priorities

Covid-19 is a catchy name, actually; you can
sing it to the tune of “Cruella De-Ville”:
Covid-19, Covid-19, 
Most socially deadly disease that I’ve seen,
and the parodies are flooding in
on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram:
No one cleans like Gaston, quarantines like Gaston
and, Never was a Covid-girl (sorry, Tori Amos.)
There are a dozen top-10 Coronavirus parody song lists
and twelve million hits more when you type in
“Covid-19 song parodies”
and I can’t help but wonder, if we mere everyday folks,
we artists and writers and singers and spoofers
can manage that much output in mere weeks of sequester–
(with fully-produced videos and musical arrangements, even,
and bare-bones funded, if funded at all, or thanks to Patreon)
what could our scientists and doctors accomplish
in that same timeframe regarding this pandemic,
If only properly funded and supported?

(originally written 4/6/2020)


I invite those who are also writing creatively in response to the pandemic to share their words in the comments below. I am sharing the “poem-a-day” on Instagram and Twitter, as well; follow me @mridleyelmes !


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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