Patient 91

A stranger in town
Flew in from Bangkok, wheels down
Heads into town

A few hours to kill
In the Buddha Bar and Grill
Bring him the bill
He’s about to get ill

Some social media bluster
“You’re a time bomb, buster”
Heart of the Buddha Bar cluster

The fever struck him and a dozen more
Quarantine followed as per the law
Testing teams went door to door
Get him to the hospital, before he hits the floor

Now here’s where it goes bad fast
“Ventilate me now” he asked
His doctors steadfast
His story makes it to a national broadcast

Most places thirty days is days too late
In that state
A flick of the switch is your fate
But this is Ho Chi Minh City, and he lasts sixty-eight

He fell asleep in April, woke up in June
To the sounds of scooters, smells of monsoon
The virus worldwide in full bloom
He’s ready to give up his room

A bullet he would not expect to dodge
But this is Vietnam, and no one’s died on their watch

Who is he? This Stephen Cameron
Well, here he’s better known as
Patient ninety-one

Johnson Has Washed His Hands

A beach packed with punters
Creates a major incident
Johnson has washed his hands

From rules to guidance
From cognisance to dissonance
Johnson has washed his hands

A COVID spike
In abattoirs and factories
Johnson has washed his hands

A dialled in parliament
On pound shop batteries
Johnson has washed his hands

Keir passed the soap
And held the towel
While Johnson washed his hands

A welcomed announcement
Despite its disavowal
Helped Johnson to wash his hands

Stay at home as much as you can
While visiting the shops as much as possible
Says Johnson has washed his hands

While the march back to Wetherspoons
Is seemingly unstoppable
Because Johnson has washed his hands

Confused about the guidance
Scared or simply bitter
Johnson has washed his hands

The scientists’ advice
Relegated to Twitter
Because Johnson has washed his hands

Jason Gets the Call

Jason got the call.
Who is this?
Where did you get this number?
He wasn’t expecting this at all.
Joanna’s expression asked the question;
Dunno love, he shrugged.

They said “Sir, did you take a test?”
Jason said yes.

“You know you’ve had the virus”
Jason said yes
I’ve still got it I guess,
A bit of a temperature
A bit of a cough,
Joanna’s alright but I still feel off.
Why are you calling me today?
Am I OK?

“Sir, relax.
We just need to trace your contacts”

“Before we do can we ask
Sir, did you self-isolate?”
Sorry mate?
Did you mean I’d stayed at home?
Yes, 14 days
Like the guidance says
Yes, I stayed at home.
Not alone,
My wife is here
But her test was clear.

“Very good sir, we’re glad to hear.”

Before that, I went to work.

“Did you work from home?”

Well at first, but you see
The government opened up the economy.

“OK we see
So who was at work?”

Well, me
My boss, Brian, Gavin and Sharon

“Sir did you stay two metres from ‘em?”

Well yes
And no I guess.
It’s work you see,
That’s not always easy.

“OK, We get the gist.
Can you make a list
Of everyone you worked with, then
We can get in touch with them.”

Well, I’m at home,
I don’t have everyone’s numbers in my phone.

“I see
Tell me where you work,
We’ll contact them directly.”

Jason obliged
But his list might be slightly compromised.
Joanna looked his way;
Jason looked away.

There’s something you should probably know
About me, about us.
She braced for the blow.
I went to work on the bus.

The Rights of Dogs

It’s a shorter briefing,
They are these days;
No scientists, ratings are down.
Jason’s convinced it’s deliberate.
“Nothing good to say
And they’re shit at saying it.”
Jason says.

Joanna’s just grateful that it’s over,
She doesn’t like the effect that it has on him.
She expected nothing but lies and avoidance
But it drives him mad.
“They’re politicians
What do you expect?”
Joanna says.

It’s got to the point
That they’re discussing public toilets,
Honestly the best question
That the press have got today.
“People are dying
And they’ve stopped being sorry.”
Jason says.

She sighs.
She’s just grateful he missed the early news.
Michael Gove:
“Nous défendons toujours les droits des chiens”
She misses her dog.
She doesn’t say it.

You learn less
Every time you tune in,
Their arrogance grows
As public interest wanes.
“Why don’t we go for a walk?
Or maybe just talk?”
Joanna says.

But there’s the press conference
Then there’s the analysis.
At least racist Farage
Ain’t on anymore.
“I’ll just listen to this bit
It might be important.”
Jason says.

It won’t be.
It hasn’t been for a while.
“Maybe tomorrow then.”
Joanna says.


No More ‘Til September

No more ‘til September
A tacit overturning of policy
Without a blame of the science
Or a claim of the science
A victory won discreetly
By parents waging a quiet war
By simply ignoring the rule
By simply not sending their children to school

More on Masks

Should I be wearing a mask?
We asked
In March
And April
And May,
And now they say yay.
Not just OK
But you must.
How can we trust
An instruction apparently so picayune
They thought that it could wait ‘til June?

Untitled (3rd June 2020)

Outside a crowd is shouting about what it really means to be black.
Inside Rees-Mogg’s campaigning to get his voting traditions back.
(It’s a matter of priorities
And MPs with propensities
For higher risk of the disease
Are not one of his).
And how many of the inside crowd
No longer say the words out loud,
The traders and the bankers
Who were “All Lives Matter” wankers.
Who’s to be shamed
Into actual change?
When the most police stops for COVID-19
To slow spread in the community
Are of people who are BAME
While Dominic Cummings gets off scot-free.
A union jack in a profile picture
Guarantees a negative response.
Who cares if the UK’s sicker?
Or the spread is quicker?
The inequality slicker?
And thicker?
If that’s what the Tommylicker thinks he wants.
They might say
That we’ve come a long way
To make society better,
To ease the virus pressure.
(While ignoring the disease unfortunately
Affects black people disproportionately).
But the people and the science both know
That we’ve still got some way to go.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam

Van-Tam’s a football fan
It’s Boston United for the government’s man.
That’s why he helped them to decide
To allow you games of three-a-side.
He hopes it’ll help you to keep fit
If you don’t tear the pants out if it.

On Not Following the Science

It took the Cummings fiasco
For the government to let go
Of the scientific say so
With a bribe so shallow
For a back to work heigh-ho
And an off to school you go.

It’s still early you know,
The numbers could grow
But there’s no economic flow
As they tire of furlough
It’s about the dough
This public health blow,
Not keeping the R low
It’s about what we owe.

They claim progress although
The numbers don’t show
That we’re within a stone’s throw
Of Wuhan or Guangzhou,
We’re more Moscow than Tokyo
Or Montevideo;
While the White House sideshow
Lets Trump have a go
At the WHO.

So, when they say that they know
What you know they don’t know
And with words that sound hollow
Tell you to follow
And tell you to go
Reserve your right to say no.

Track Trace

A Daily Mail Poll

Did Cummings act responsibly
Legally, or with integrity?
70% of respondents disagree.
And 63% of answers back
Said that Johnson should’ve given him the sack,
While 66% of readers think it’s time
For Dominic Cummings to resign.

66% said he’s telling lies,
82% said he should apologise
And 78% surmise
That he didn’t drive to Barnard Castle to test his eyes.

Now, 70% of people polled agree
That it’s one rule for them and one for me.

Who expected condemnation on this scale
From the readership of the Daily Mail?