Lock-Down Poetry: Lock Down is Appealing

Contribution to our poetry series on the Sarum College Blog, by Jan Church

Summer school of 2018 was my first real experience of Sarum College. I was enrolled as on Ordinand on the Post Graduate Diploma in Theology, Ministry and Mission. The past two years have been a life changing experience for me. I have grown in theological knowledge and understanding.

I have learned academic skills I did not have before, theological reflection being just one. I have grown in my Christian faith and spiritual maturity and have developed a new confidence and reassurance in my calling to be a Priest. I am so appreciative and grateful to James and all the staff at Sarum for taking this journey with me.

Alongside this I have also been working as a dispenser in my local pharmacy. In March 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic touched our lives and people went into lockdown, my working life became much busier and scarier. Everyone around me seemed to be in lockdown, my children, and grandchildren, some of my colleague and staff at Sarum, friends and especially our patients.

People panicked because they were afraid they would not get their medication and the doctors started to prescribe more than they needed. In those initial couple of weeks, it was tough working long hours in that atmosphere of confusion and fear of the unknown. There were many times I wished I was in lockdown too.

This poem is an insight into my working life at this time.

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Lockdown is appealing

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I go to work, don my PPE it feels like armour, readying for battle.

I will care for you and your needs but not within two metres.

Struggling with the demand for Paracetamol, thermometers, hand gel and antibac.

Anger, frustration, confusions, yes but why?

Non-contact deliveries.

The shrill of the phone constantly ringing in my ears.

Days on end of popping pills into trays,

Sore fingers and thumbs and sting from foil cuts.

Why are you stockpiling your meds?

Why 0 – 6 inhalers?

Eyes over masks looking at me with suspicion

Fuelled with anxiety and fear.

I am friend not foe!

I face your coughs and your splutter, your aches and your pains, your spots, pimple and rashes.

We have creams and potions and lotions but nothing to sooth the unknown.

Separated from family, working long hours restless nights and fretful days

When can we have the old norm back.

Lock down is appealing.

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