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Centuries before Covid-19 hit
A pandemic infected this country.
And since it was a plague, we ignored it.
We whitewashed genocide and slavery.
We wore politically corrected masks
To shield others from verbal aerosol.
Treating the symptoms was a short-term task.
Red, blue and white pride came before this fall.
Historic disparities reared their heads.
Structural biases waged their impacts.
Statistics mattered, after all was said
By white men in power disputing facts.
Racism, the plague we chose to ignore,
Led coronavirus to Black folks’ door.
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— Paul Laurence Dunbar
This poem is a COVID-19 “remix” of “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. I tried to follow Dunbar’s original rhyme scheme and meter. I hope you enjoy it and take it as a “public service announcement” to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). You can listen to the demo on SoundCloud below. Peace, Love & Safe Passage!
We wear masks and save others’ lives. Covered beneath N-95s, Making our own to last a while. While presidential denials Try to downplay casualties. We wash our hands and sanitize To prevent a viral surprise. Bandanas to protect, not style. We wear masks. We smile to strangers with our eyes, And shop for essential supplies. We sing and post to our profiles. God bless the “remote learning” chile! While black men keep dropping like flies We wear masks. Chicago, IL
For more information on COVID-19 updates and prevention, visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/index.html
Waiting in line for toilet paper!