Twas the Night Before COVID (A Visit from Doc Nicholas)
‘Twas the night before COVID, when all through our pad
Not a creature could taste things—not kid, Mom, or Dad;
The masks were all worn by the family with care,
In hopes that corona would not fill the air.
The children were playing (six feet between each)
While bottles of Purell were well within reach;
As Ma infused oils, and I took my zinc,
I told her, “We’re safe from the virus, I think.”
When out of her lungs there arose such a clatter,
Her nasty dry cough made me cry, “What’s the matter!?”
Away to the laptop I flew fast as death
And searched for “dry cough and some shortness of breath.”
I entered more symptoms—“sore throat” and “fatigue,”
“Fever,” “chills,” “diarrhea”—like a sickness blitzkrieg!
When what with our wondering eyes did we spy,
But a WebMD verdict: “YOU’RE GOING TO DIE.”
We knew we must act, and couldn’t think twice,
So we hopped on to Facebook to ask for advice.
More rapid than eagles the counsel it came,
They argued in ALL CAPS and called us mean names:
“It’s made-up! It’s Marxist!
It’s all just the flu!
If you think it is real,
then we’ll all unfriend you!
We’ve researched this well
and we’ve talked to a priest
Who says it’s for sure
the dread Mark of the Beast!”
As flakes that before a wild blizzard will fly,
Then form into snowdrifts a hundred feet high;
So off to the clinic our minivan flew,
To the bold printed sign: “COVID Testing Drive-Thru.”
I knew when I saw it, the line of tail lights,
The wait would be hours, we’d be here all night.
As I started to leave, and was turning around,
Then up to our car Doctor Nicholas bound!
He was dressed in red velvet, from ankle to wrist.
When we pointed and laughed, he looked just a bit miffed.
A quiver of cotton swabs hung from his back,
And some jingle bells rang as he opened his pack.
His eyes—oh, how bloodshot! his lids, how they drooped!
He’d worked six overnighters—and, my, he was pooped!
His droll little mask was made up of white fur,
And his patent black boots were quite far from demur;
The shield on his face, it was trimmed with bright lights
And played songs of Old Christmastime all through the night.
He had a sad face and a loud, grumbling belly,
But all that we had was a packet of jelly.
He was haggard and worn, a right shabby M.D.,
And I wept when I saw him; he looked worse than me!
He reached for my chin and he tipped back my head
And winked as he told me, “You’ve nothing to dread.”
He wasted no time sticking things in my face—
And I think that he swabbed intracranial space!
And shoving a Q-Tip way up every nose,
He said with a nod, “We’re all done. You can go.”
He waved our van on, gave the next car a whistle,
And launched at its driver with cotton-tipped missile.
But we heard him exclaim, as we drove out of sight—
“You will have your results in, say, three to four nights!”
© 2020 Eric Schumacher