Novel Virus

CDC / Public domain

Can a novel virus teach
What climate emergency so far have not?
The interconnectedness of a global world
No country beyond its reach
Collective action the only sensible plot
Work together without accusing insults hurled

Can a novel virus show
What’s closest to our hearts
What we value most of all
Do we dare accept, have courage to know
Faithfully confess what we display in all our art
Happiness only ever lay in following loving soul calls

Can a novel virus reveal
How compassionate living will be
Only way out the materialistic maze
Can we make a New Green Deal
Accept responsibility humbly
Changing our planet wrecking, extreme storm inducing ways?


It would be easy right now to give in to hopelessness and despair. It hangs as a virulent miasma over the world. This new, unknown threat, has shook us to the core, in a way the rampantly accelerating environmental disaster has not. It has shown our mean, stupid side in different panicky behaviour, like avoiding all asians from the start, like stockpiling toiletpaper of all things, like shunning Corona beer. It also shows our denial, it’s only in Asia, not here, it’s only in Italy, not Scandinavia. Like the alps haven’t long been a favorite winter destination, like there’s not constant physical contact between people from different countries within many industries.

I think it scares us shitless, just because we know that we haven’t built a world that can handle any big upset. There is no marginals. Not enough time to react. In Sweden there is not enough intensive care units to handle a big outbreak. There might be shortages of testing equipment worldwide. Also we live with a financial system, aka the economy, that is one very skittish easily scared entity. Built upon something as unreasonable as everlasting growth…

The panic we try to hide is also the panic of loneliness, the fear of being sick, maybe dying, in a world locked in isolation. Humans are social creatures, dependent on interactions with others.

Personally I would advise wisdom instead of panic. If we truly want to stop Covid-19 from spreading the only way is to limit human physical interactions to a minimum for a while. Yes, that would be disruptive, but not as disruptive as most other scenarios.

Maybe it could also make us rediscover.
That consuming things is not what we need most. Flying all over to meet, instead of using technology we already possess, to meet virtually, is also often bad time and resource management. When the people we most often wanna meet are loved ones. Maybe that new plastic toy don’t have to be bought because the family have rediscovered how to play in the woodland.

Apparently we live in interesting times…

New Zealand Government / Public domain

Linked to earthweal weekly challenge: STORMS and the poem part also shared to At the Beginning of a Pandemic* … your next Wednesday Writing Prompt, hosted this week by Michael Dickel at The Poet By Day

3 thoughts on “Novel Virus

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  1. Oh how your words of common sense and wisdom speak to me! I wish world leaders – and humanity in general – would rally in response to the climate crisis as it is to the virus. We are a strange species, in denial until the threat is right in our faces. I love your poem, and your note after. I especially love the idea of limiting human interaction for a time and rediscovering how little we really need to lead a contented life. I suspect the coming times will teach us the hard way how interconnected we are, and how to shake off the consumer monster that has ruled us for too long. So glad to read this, RedCat. I could not agree with you more. I live in a village of 2000 and felt a bit less at risk than those in cities. But even here, today I saw my first person walking around with a mask on. Wow. And between yesterday and today our toilet paper shelves went bare. My goodness.

  2. Yes. It’s good that we can come together in times of need, but terrible that it takes bad things to come together. One day we should grower wiser and not just older. At least that can be the hope. Great post!

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