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Meanwhile the World Goes On

January 03, 2022
Amy Stringer

Coughs and dulled senses, it’s nothing
Or is it? Fear and confusion run riot
News stations in a flurry, misinformation in the spotlights, who to trust?
Guesses, experts, accusations; a palpable polarity spawns
A black man dead by the knee of another white man
Society intensifies to a climax, that’s ENOUGH! Life shuts down
Meanwhile the world goes on

We hide in our homes, fearing our neighbors, friends and selves
Running out of PPE doctors and nurses are in trash bags
Unknowing how to protect our own being and each other from an unseen enemy
Stress increases, shifts are relentless, time won’t stop
Bodies in cooled trucks, lost loved ones and mass graves, death slows for no man
Depression, burnout runs amuck among professionals and all those who once thought they were strong
Meanwhile the world goes on

The sky, light and blue for some
Stormy, wind filled, cold falling rain, flooding, walls of water for others
Power fails as temperatures rise; millions left to swelter
A cyberattack exploiting the needs of thousands reliant on a pipeline
A land ablaze, the orange aura licks the night’s stars across the country
Plumes of smoke fill the air, choking us, a punishment from the earth for all we’ve ignored
Meanwhile the world goes on

Working from bedrooms with screaming children and noisy animals
Pretending like life hasn’t changed
Simultaneously acknowledging how much it has
How it will never be the same again; what do we tell our patients?
Broken hearts, broken homes, unforgivable exchanges, and the weight of millions of lives
A healthcare system we all relied on, shattered, it’s fragments now highlighted for all to see
Meanwhile the world goes on

I, a student of the profession hemorrhaging, crying for back up and strength,
Am left to feel hollow guilt, I’ll bloom too late, I’m missing the war
Sitting behind books, studying lipases, cell types and muscle insertions
Fumbling my way through the trial and errors of taking my first patient histories
Not ready and useless to those out there, caring for,
Nay, devoting, their lives to prevent the loss of others to this madness
Meanwhile the world goes on

Hundreds of years later, with current burdens lifted as our souls ascend, this will be a chapter in a book
These lives, our lives, blended with the existence of everyone else’s since time began
Documented in detail, to be remembered…But for what?
Who we were? What we’ve done?
Will anything change? Or simply repeat?
Either way, with us beneath this earth,
Our children walking above, the world goes on