Haibun – COVID-19 – March 30, 2020

Santa Chiara di Trento, Italy

Haibun – COVID-19

Reading news reports of the horror that is COVID-19 can is chilling.  And although the horror of what is happening is wounding to the heart, in these times, there are those narcissists who spread false and horrifying news reports on the Social Media pages. Of course no one requires us to read them or look at what’s on the news.

raging storm
sleeping in my soft bed
safe and warm

The COVID-19 pandemic which has hit our world, they said wouldn’t be as bad as the annual flu season.  Because in our age, we have an influenza season.  I guess because influenza is endemic?  Some say only those with  weak immunological systems and the very old will probably die.  The young are safe, they are strong … no children under 16 have been affected.  And then, today, it’s an official news report, an infant dies of COVID-19.  Many shutter.

age of miricles
instant infodemia
no news

It happened so fast.  Just a few short weeks ago everyone was sitting back in their comfortable homes, watching their TVs.  The news commentators  tut-tutted on how inefficient the Chinese government was in getting the illness under control.  Commenting on the lock downs in Wuhan and Hubei province with condescension .  Then as it seemed that things might calm down, only for it to reach Italy.  The European nations looked on as  she was caught in the maelstrom.  They looked on, sometimes cruelly joking about the situation, not preparing.  It took a week or so and other European nations began to succumb, first one or two cases then hundreds and finally thousands. The United States began to report deaths in Washington state. The WHO proclaimed that COVID-19was a pandemic. Finally the United Kingdom capitulated and their Prime Minister tested positive to the virus.  Many more nations are being adding to the lists of those who have entered the brave new world of COVID-19.  Crematoriums are consuming the dead.

lost in smoke
ravens fly in droves
cawing
© gsk’20

In a Silent World – March 26, 2020 –

Trains still run here in the silent world of illness that is Italy.  There are those who believe that the virus which has killed so many is not really so very bad.  Often people don’t believe, until they are in someway hurt, that bad things really do exist.

I sit on my terrace in the silence, the birds sing, the wind is warm and pleasant, the sun is warm.  There are no distant sounds of cars or jets high up in the sky to leave their white streaks.  The sky is limpid, virginal in fact, as though mankind has ceased to exist.

Looking back on the spring of 2020,  I will remember the silence of the clear skies and the earth as seen from satellites showing a “surprising” decrease in pollution.  I and many will also remember the silent truckloads of corpses, victims of the COVID-19, that snaked through the early morning streets of Bergamo. Many may never live through the silence of mourning loved ones. I mourn the many I’ve never met feeling sure that no one will mourn me.

But we are not yet finished with this illness, though we may be bored with it.  It’s so difficult to be healthy and isolated in this silent spring. Life is being renewed and spring beckons to us like a siren.

The silence is too loud.  We are so used to our comforting noise … the constant hubble-bubble of machinery and commentary.   Some will say: how absurd, why should we be isolated like this … and will congregate.  Then soon there will be more silence.

my heart beat
in social isolation
a silent world
gsk ’20