MEET ME

A poem by IRIS NARKO NARTEY (GHANA)

All over the world,

Streets dazzled with Christmas lights

Humanity danced!

Party after party;

Anticipating a future so bright.

I laughed while I watched,

Their desperation, coupled with excitement

to say goodbye to their old lover; 2019.

If only they knew I was coming along with 2020,

They wouldn’t have been in a rush to cross over to……..


Meet me!

You hoped 2020 would bring you peace,

But I came, not in peace,

to leave you not in one piece,

 

I am the invisible force,

Exposing the true state of health care and, education systems,

Systems powerful nations brag about,

I have exposed them!

Their professed robustness is only as strong as their feeble hands.

 

Meet me!

COVID-19 is my name

I came with my fame, raging like wildfire

Surpassing every human fame ever acclaimed,

Borders couldn’t bind me,

I had no hands to be put in chains,

Yet I have hands to touch every life with pains,

 

I am the ultimate leveler.

I make both the poor and the rich afraid.

I am no respecter of persons,

I transcend age, race, class, and tribe,

 

Meet me!

I am a global dictator!

I put the world on lockdown

A lockdown that worsened domestic abuse;

As women were stuck at home with their beaters and emotional killers.

A lockdown that heightened child abuse,

As children were forced to be out of the protective confines of school,

To be at home, within the constant reach of sexual predators,

 

Again! I laugh when I recall how much they couldn’t wait, to quickly discard 2019.

If only they knew, they would have asked God to freeze time!

 

No one was prepared to meet me,

But Meet me!

I have changed lifestyles,

Broken routines!

Grown anxieties!

Engineered panic attacks!

Encouraged paranoia!

Re-written humanity’s 2020 goals and resolutions,

Now all they want to do is just to survive!

To be alive each day with unhindered breath

 

I came with a new fashion sense,

Wearing a mask now is not to hide identity,

But to save humanity.

I hang around, waiting to invade people who dare to face me bare,

to enter their lungs and snuff out their last breath.

 

While I reign, love for one’s neighbor has been redefined,

Love is no more as delicate as avoiding tribal wars or nuclear bombs.

Love is as simple as wearing a face mask,

Social distancing and hand sanitizing.

 

My name is COVID-19.

When I rumble, economies crumble,

I have taken down millions of businesses

Shattered millions of investments

Great nations are still fumbling; trying to pick up their broken pieces.

 

Humanity used to sing, “United we stand, divided we fall,

Now I make them cry “Divided – we stand, united – we fall”

For coming together only makes me grow stronger,

To spread further, and take more vulnerable lives.

 

Amidst the painful darkness our lesson is our light;

to unite our minds and arsenals together to this fight,

Amidst our fears and sorrows, our lesson is our might, 

“that carelessness in one continent can affect the rest of us with a plight.”,

For all of humanity is closely knitted together, 

We must care; what other nations do

How effective their systems are,

How safe and protected their inhabitants are,

For all of humanity is closely knitted together,

Everyone’s wellbeing makes all of us safer.

 

COVID is an eye-opener,

that we have to work tirelessly to safeguard our lives, 

For no one knows what tomorrow may also bring!

We must be ready!

To fight anything that threatens humanity,

We must be ready! 

The end of COVID shouldn’t mark the end of our goodwill to each other,

Love must be without boundaries 

Working together for a common good must not cease.

And if we do this, the plight shall pass for light to come,

The towns that lay desolate shall blossom again,

The panic that shook our faith gives way for faith to come,

For we have within us, the power to heal the world, with a duty of care to this earth.

We can make normal times return 

Our next generation will meet a safer world and a global order,

 

COVID won’t outlive the hope of humanity

For we remain dedicated to solving the puzzle that it is.

It will soon fall!

 

And if anyone asks what you accomplished in 2020,

Simply say “what you did was simply survive”

And even that was hard enough!