by Dr Tasmeera Singh
Principal International Advisor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal & IEASA MC member
Without a sigh, gush or gurgle COVID-19 appeared with such tumultuous buffeting,
leaving neither a trace nor footprint in its ruination, just an invisible presence.
Borders closed, trains, planes and vessels grounded,
the earth stood still shattering human connectivity.
A simple human touch became COVID-19s greatest strength,
unleashing a pernicious fury with contempt for human life.
Sunshine, smiles and giggles replaced by darkness, solitude and emptiness,
for the hands that once fed, once provided is COVID-19s strongest weapon.
Playgrounds, beaches and parks bereft of activity.
Schools, nurseries and universities devoid of learners and students,
troubling the foundations of knowledge and progression.
Lockdowns, stays and isolation the new vocabulary epitomizing COVID-19.
Such deafening silence globally parading in all its grandeur,
lest not the gurgles and mirth of youth unspent.
BUT in all silence and solitude we witness the manifestation
of nature and nurture in all its glory, forms and shape.
Suddenly the sounds of chirping birds, the crashing of waves against the sea shore,
echoes in symbolic melody of earth’s purity.
Clearer skies sans toxins and pollutants
shine in alluring seduction beckoning a crystalline future.
Nature is reborn with boom and glory inducing,
intoxicating freshness and rejuvenation all around.
Mothers, fathers and children huddled together in fight of COVID-19.
Families rekindle over meals with simple talk without rush and race,
just free abandonment for life’s simple blessings and gestures.
As the COVID storm rages with all its might and fury new appreciation is found.
Love, life and laughter are no longer granted meaningless,
as we garner the resolve to fight the COVID storm,
together in solidarity fearless in all our awe and armory.
Through internationalisation, new bridges to research connect,
unique collaborations engage as we scurry globally,
to find a cure to eliminate this invisible enemy.
COVID-19 has only strengthened the human resolve
to live, to confront, to conquer against all odds.
Ignited is the spirt of solidarity and togetherness in adversity.
Your rage, your ruination and catastrophic devastation
will come to pass as all things do.
Everlasting, never fading, will be the lessons of love for life,
festering unwavering adulation for the kindred human soul in humbleness and humility.
Endure we shall this rage nor cower, nor bow to fear or be defined by YOU.
United our resolve is strengthened with tenacity to persevere until YOU VANISH.