Friday, 10 April 2020

The 'Rona Riot

Living in the depths of a lockdown in Britain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve begun to light-heartedly refer to the impact the Coronavirus is having on the Nation as “The ‘Rona Riot.” I happened to mention this one day to a friend during a Zoom meeting in the midst of our isolation time and she immediately laughed and said it sounded like the title of a poem. Later that day I was thinking about my friend’s comment and I soon found myself sitting with my laptop, putting down the first few verses!

My poem is intended to humorously express some of my observations on how the pandemic has changed our every day lives almost overnight. It’s in no way intended to undermine the seriousness of the virus situation or disregard the upset caused by it. I think humour is often a great coping mechanism and can be a wonderful outlet during times of hardship so I hope that these words can offer a bit of light relief in difficult and uncertain times.

My prayer during this particular season is that God would use these challenging events to stir hearts and turn eyes towards Him. I hope my poem “The ‘Rona Riot” reflects this sentiment and brings a little laugh too!
Behold! “The ‘Rona Riot” has ruined simple pleasures;
A loaf of bread and toilet roll are now considered “treasures!”
With shoppers in a panic and clearing every shelf,
Forgetting social etiquette, it’s each man for himself!

“I’m nipping to the shops” is now “Prepare yourself for battle!”
And though you only need some milk you stand in line like cattle.
Armed with gloves and face masks, the staff replenish stocks
Whilst buyers wait in queues that snake around the pants and socks.

Though normally a queue like this would mean a Disney ride,
It’s now the standard wait to claim your groceries inside!
Gone are days of yore when shopping didn’t bring this stress,
“Survival of the fittest” is the rule of M&S!

With everyone frustrated and looking less than jolly,
You get a wipe to swipe across the hand-rail of your trolley.
Desperately you keep inside your own two metre space
And constantly deny yourself the urge to touch your face!

Heading to the “Cleaning” aisle your heart can only hope,
Then feel you’ve found the Holy Grail to find they still have soap!
The sight of cleaning products makes you nearly lose the plot,
You grab the bleach and leg it out, faster than a shot!

Then once you’ve made it safely home it really won’t be long,
Before you’re at the sink to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.
Scrubbing every digit for the umpteenth time that day,
Making sure that every germ is promptly washed away!

You hose down every light switch and burn a tea tree candle,
Then disinfect each surface while bleaching every handle.
Oh yes, The ‘Rona Riot has you paranoid and fraught,
For now you have to sanitise each item that you bought!

But though this nasty virus has brought on many dramas,
It has made it acceptable to live life in pyjamas!
No one really misses the days we spent in jeans,
Although when this is over they’ll be bursting at the seams!

Though rules of “Social Distancing” say “Step back just a smidge,”
We really should be distancing ourselves from every fridge!
For when The Riot’s over the scales may give a shock!
So best to shut the fridge and get out for your daily walk!

You savour nature’s colours and the chance to use your feet
And marvel at the silence and the stillness of the street.
Enjoying the tranquility, who knew The ‘Rona Riot
Would offer something positive and bring such peace and quiet?

The air is so much cleaner while the streets are looking stark,
The highlight of each day is now your visit to the park.
You relish time outdoors just like a dog out on the loose
But find that you’re accosted by each squirrel, duck and goose!

Half starved, they sit there wondering where all the people went.
The wildlife think they’ve all been forced to give up food for Lent!
They’re used to “Silver Service,” now they have to find their food!
But learning how to forage will do them all some good.

Behold! The ‘Rona Riot could have benefits it seems,
Perhaps there might be positives from all this quarantine.
The traffic has been muted which is really not a pity,
For once we hear the music from the songbirds in the city!

And though The ‘Rona Riot has thwarted all our plans,
At least for now we say hello by giving it “jazz hands!”
But though it seems these troubles have really rotten timing,
It’s highly possible this cloud may have a silver lining.

Some are helping neighbours or learning skills anew,
Who knows what might have been achieved before The Riot’s through!
Friends are reunited from the comfort of their room,
With countless groups and meetings through the camera lens of Zoom!

Though loss of work and earnings has put us to the test,
Perhaps it’s good to slow things down and just enjoy the rest.
Appreciate the season and the family time it brings,
Surrender to the thought this could be used for mighty things!

For while The ‘Rona Riot runs amok across the Earth,
It helps us to evaluate what really is of worth.
Maybe in a year we will recall this isolation
And contemplate the lessons that it taught us as a Nation.

Awake us from our apathy to rise above the strife
And teach us to appreciate the simple side of life.
For if we face this wisely, the season won’t be worthless.
It could reveal quite clearly that there is a higher purpose.

When faced with such uncertainty and no sign it’ll cease,
It shows us where we put our trust and where we find our peace.
These troubles may inspire us to pause and be reflective,
To shake us from complacency and challenge our perspective.

If all of our security has crumbled all around,
Perhaps it’s time we build our lives on much more solid ground.
When things that we rely upon have quickly fallen through,
It’s time we look much higher with eternity in view.

But when The Riot’s over and we venture forth again,
We’ll celebrate with family and meet up with our friends.
We might find that we’re grateful for things dismissed before
And savour interaction and a friendly hug much more!

For now we will continue to battle this from home
And do our best to stay upbeat and keep a cheery tone!
While every Thursday night we’ll go outside to clap our hands
And give thanks to the NHS by banging pots and pans!

We’ll look towards the future when this virus doesn’t rule
And parents shout for joy to drop the children off at school!
When 2020’s over and we’re all back on the diet,
We always will recall the year we faced “The ‘Rona Riot!”

Proverbs 16:9
“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”

Philippians 4:19
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Acts 17:30-31
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Download a PDF of this poem to keep and share