Coronologue II: Vaccine Rising

By Rajan Sharma

One year has passed since the start of first lockdown;
It’s taken some time, but the vaccines are here now;
Approved in UK by the Health regulator are
Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca;
Rigorously tested, deemed safe and effective
Reducing the chance you’re severely infected,
And helping your body build better defences
Against future Covid infection offenses

Millions of people have now had it done, starting
With those who were high risk, including my mum;
At her booked appointment she rolled up her sleeve
Quick jab, then a rest, and then she could leave;
She had a slight temperature later, her arm was quite sore
And that didn’t last long, just a couple days more; but the
Prospect of months, even years, with Long Covid?
Give me mild discomfort, and not the alternative

The Hive and Tithe Farm played their part for us all;
Now Harrow’s set up a super-hub at Byron Hall;
A few local pharmacies are giving them too
Just like your annual vaccine for flu;
And serving the rest of Great North-West London
Are large vaccine centres in Wembley and Ealing;
But, please do not turn up without an appointment
That will only end in your sole disappointment;
Your NHS number, ensure to bring with you
To fill out a form, and then join in the queue
Socially distant at 2-metre spaces, then
Inside, and sanitise, and it’s all friendly [masked] faces!

Sure, it’s part of our nature to be wary and cautious
“Let’s wait to see how the news will report it”
But the meat and egg rumours are simply untrue
DNA changes, and microchip tracking, are also fake news;
So when you receive your vaccine jab invite
There’s just no excuse not to book yourself in, right;
Though, if breastfeeding, pregnant, or prone to an allergy,
Consult your health specialist or local GP

Even my Mum had her doubts, but she went with her conscience;
She’s both a woman of faith, and believes in the science;
She trusts that the vaccine will boost her immunity
While doing her part for the local community;
See, my Mum is a warrior, she’ll fight to the end
Protecting her family, and neighbours, and friends

So let’s help take the strain off our Northwick Park heroes…
But it’s no magic cure, so the hard work continues;
Even after both doses, you know what to do:
Wash hands, wear a mask, and keep safe distance too;
It’s time to do all that we can do to safeguard each other
So whatever comes next we shall face it together

London-based actor, writer and theatre-maker; writer-performer of lyrical narrative poem The Mariner’s Song (WINNER – Theatre Weekly Award at Perth FringeWorld 2020, Australia; 10-Must-See Spoken Word Shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2019).

The piece came about after being approached by North Harrow Community Library (with support from Harrow Council and Harrow Giving) to participate in their Vaccination Awareness series, and I was commissioned to create the attached spoken word piece that would tackle misinformation about the COVID-19 virus and the vaccines, and help to encourage uptake of the vaccines, especially amongst Harrow’s diverse communities.

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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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