Saturday, 17 October 2020

 Plague And It's Doctors


It must have been terrifying,

a deadly illness airborne

spread by miasma.

It sounds like a conspiracy theory now.

Perhaps some thought so then.


It all sounds so familiar


the specially made Personal Protective Equipment 

required for those treating the afflicted.

Boots and gloves,

head to toe waxed covering

with sweetly pungent perfumes underneath

and a stick to make sure people kept their distance.


It all sounds so familiar


the distinctive mask,

so distinctive 

it is popular in events today.

But the shape was necessary then,

utilitarian,

it’s long beak delaying the passage 

of miasma to the doctor’s lungs, 

with a cocktail of disinfecting herbs 

inside 

for further protection.


It all sounds so familiar.


But is efficacy was limited.

They had misunderstood 

the causes and remedies.

We have more evidence now

but still wrestle

with competing theories.

So when all is stripped down 

and the masks are off

we are still ill equipped.


It all sounds too familiar.


https://www.thepoetmagazine.org/autumn-2020---a-new-world



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