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Volume 26, Number 7—July 2020
Another Dimension

A Critique of Coronavirus

Elana R. OsenComments to Author 
Author affiliation: St George’s University Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust, London, UK

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Why did the quiet descend?

Does this plague not know

that apocalypses come with fanfare,

wails of lamentation,

howls of wayward dogs,

explosive blasts?

Or, maybe, silence.

Just shop-window glass crunching underfoot

puncturing the eerie nothing.

Not quiet.

Never quiet.

Why does the sun still shine?

Can it not see what transpires

from its lofty throne

above the Earth?

Read the room, sun.

Now’s the time for greyscale filter.

Or, maybe, an eclipse.

One last blinding ray of blazing flare

to scorch the land,

to boil the sea,

to serve up des hommes brûlés

to whichever vengeful deity

dines with us tonight.

Not sunshine.

Never sunshine.

Why can I smell the tulips?

I thought the virus

wiped olfaction from our

paltry list of powers?

Or, maybe, smoke.

You know, from voracious flames

feasting on our foliage and flesh,

the smog of industry,

of mushroom clouds.

Why does that not sting my nostrils?

Not flowers.

Never flowers.

Why does life go on inexorably?

Is Ragnarök not supposed to happen

around now?

Where are the horsemen?

Where are the double gates of Paradise?

What a lame apocalypse:

we’ve been sold a lemon.

Or, maybe, pop culture eschatology

isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

I thought the zombies would be roaming

all my haunts

by now.

Not life.

Never life.

Miss Osen is a Specialty Registrar in the ENT Department at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London. Her professional interests include ENT and history of medicine; extracurricular interests include composing bleak poetry and flash/sudden fiction.

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2607.201426

Original Publication Date: May 26, 2020

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Table of Contents – Volume 26, Number 7—July 2020

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Elana R. Osen, ENT Department, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Blackshaw Rd, Tooting, London, SW17 0QT, UK

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Page created: April 16, 2020
Page updated: June 18, 2020
Page reviewed: June 18, 2020
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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