Welcome to the New Stone Age

By Sean Fitzgerald

The virus has spread the message,
‘This is your future: Welcome to the New Stone Age’.
As the shutdown of society begins,
Green activists the world over realise their visions, their hopes and dreams.
Industries shut down, factories closed, polluting levels of harmful gases curtailed,
Clean, breathable air a consequence of health (and wealth) pollution.
Flights grounded, some never to take to the skies again,
This economic model of anytime tourism-for-all should be consigned to history.
As materials exist in the raw while processing is delayed,
It is time to halt the conveyor-belt of plastic mass-produced poison.
As thoughts of a new economic order takes hold, one pincer facilitated by greed,
The other, the novel virus born of animal and man.
Global cities deserted, denuded of workers and tourists alike,
Cause and effect; this highlights just one viable solution.
An absence of globalisation puts in stark relief Homo sapiens’ toll on this blue green beacon,
The Anthro-as-seen confirming the havoc, chaos and destruction of our activities.
As the revelation on en-route to Damascus illustrates, there is hope,
There is another way.
This time has offered a vision of action and hard decisions that need to be taken,
To save our natural world, to save our planet, and ultimately, ourselves.

Sean Fitzgerald holds a PhD in creative writing and science communication. His research and practice considers writing science as fiction in the form of speculative stories and prose. A debut fiction collection is on its way this year.


Sean Fitzgerald: These thoughts and speculations were written eighteen days before lockdown officially began in the UK. As science communication in society forms part of my research interest, I was acutely aware of what was happening in China and Europe with regards to the spread of Covid-19, and how this was already impacting on those societies. With this piece, I was particularly interested in exploring the relationship of the pandemic to ongoing environmental fears, and how this uneasy correlation may unfold in the (then) immediate and long-term future of our Anthropogenic age.

I would like to acknowledge the tragedy and distress that this pandemic has brought to many people and that by writing about other aspects of Covid-19, I in no way intend any show of disrespect to those who have been affected.

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Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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