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The Third Pandemic by Damini Awoyiga

You arrived, March 2020

Reeking of fear, death, panic, and bleach

You arrived with mandated Masks

Covering every face

Covering our emotions and expressions of pain

We’ve had one wave,

then too many

A 1st wave

A 2nd wave

And now a 3rd wave or is it the 4th?

Waves just rolling over us

While We are trying not to drown

Stuck in bubbles

surrounded By other household bubbles

Fear in the minds of case watchers

Many have died

Many are infected

Many are afraid of getting infected

And in the meantime,

COVID-19 is spurring racism

Unlocking xenophobia

Propping prejudices

Bringing out our society’s inequities

They say we are all impacted by COVID - 19

But does covid impact us all the same?

Schools moved from classrooms to kitchen tables

In-class assignments confined to bedrooms

Students behind computer screens

Missing out on rites of passage

But compensating with screens

Hand me another mask for my panicked heart

Say a prayer for those who are depending on school

To get away from their abuser

Our once connected world

Is now disconnected

Each variant stigmatizing minorities

People’s lives are coming undone

Everyone scrambling for vaccine appointments

To get their first shot

Of Pfizer

Of Moderna

Wondering if we will recover from this forced solitude

Hoping that our lives will return to normal

Busy ICU’s filled with patients

With Burning lungs struggling for air

Nurses eyes fixed on heart monitors

Health care workers

Putting on their PPE like an armor

Donning their gowns, masks, and gloves

Attending to the sick

Even on their 15th hour

Worried for their patients

Worried for their families

Not knowing if they will be next

Even as they experience burnout

Wondering how all this will turn out

Watching many of their patients die

Their hearts ache

as they watch

Families say goodbye

on computers and Ipads

Health care workers on the front lines

Shedding sweat, blood, and tears

Their hands


and worn

Masks lines

line their faces like battle scars

Across their nose, cheeks, and chin

From all the masks, they wore to keep it in

Their skin bruised and battered

Like they went to war

And yes they did

with COVID -19

I remember the freedom we used to take for granted

And what used to be

Maybe there are better days ahead

Let’s stay calm, work through this pandemic

End covids career and rid our earth of its captor

These are the times to show care to one another

Let’s face COVID-19 as a community

I think there are better days are coming

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