Joy Johnson’s latest poem on the effects of Covid-19

Reading time: 2 min

We’d been the lucky generations.

Hadn’t felt carpet bombings devastations.

Escaped 1930s style depressions.

It couldn’t last. Fortune no longer smiled upon us.

We’ve been hit by the coronavirus.

At our peril we’d ignored the periphery

Discovered we aren’t in charge of our destiny.

Too foolish not to follow countries whose citizens

had suffered from contagious diseases.

We heard about herd immunity.

So began a litany of failure putting us in jeopardy.

A prime minister, clapping NHS workers, struck down.

Even locked-down was the heir to the crown.

But we weren’t all in it together.

Fortunes made. Big tech a clear pandemic winner.

We worked from our living room.

Held virtual meetings courtesy of zoom.

Shelf stackers kept us fed. Refuse collectors

emptied the bins and bus drivers drove essential workers.

Under paid and under-valued bore the brunt of pain.

Neighbourhoods wrapped in shrouds of pitiless contagion.

Come winter hanging over us the sword of Damocles.

We’ve been brought low by the coronavirus.

By Joy Johnson, Unite political department

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