I love the poem If by Rudyard Kipling. I think the first two lines sum up life right now…

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

This is my version of If written for the Covid times…



If you can keep your head when Covid-19 hits   
    And you have way more questions than answers,
If you can trust the science when some will doubt it,
    break the rules, and reveal themselves as chancers;   
If you can tune in watch the news briefings,
   Cancel plans, rearrange, and cancel again,
Try to teach phonics whilst in zoom meetings,
    And worry about the impact on your child’s brain.

If you can dream—of a future that’s brighter;   
    If you can think—amongst the constant noise;   
If you can accept that your jeans feel tighter,
    And your floors have been lost to a sea of toys.   
If you can bear to cut your own fringe
    and celebrate birthdays at home,
Escape reality in a Netlfix binge,
    And forget when you were last alone:

If you can find reasons to keep hold of hope,
    Look for rainbows and clap the NHS,
Find a face mask that matches your coat
    And doesn’t fog up your glasses;
If you can stay cool, calm and collected
    and not buy all the bog roll in the supermarket, 
Hold on for a time when no one is infected,
    and we can hug everyone we have ever met.

If you can please keep your distance from me,   
    and look out for those who are shielding,
If you acknowledge that your right to be free,
    Comes at a price not worth paying;
If you can accept that things right now are shit
    and normal is very under rated,   
But smile, be kind, and all do our bit,
And overcoming Covid will be celebrated!

You can read the original poem here.

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Claire Kirby

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