Victims of Corona – the latest figures. A poem

by Sandra Schmit

Lëtzebuergeschen Originaltext

Mary*, 82, housewife and widow. Two weeks she sat full of fear in her living room, the protective mask pressed tight upon her face. She didn’t eat, she didn’t drink, she also didn’t sleep, for in her bed the deadly virus lurked. Outside, the crocusses were in full bloom, in the garden, where she used to chat. But she mustn’t go outside the door, it wasn’t safe, it seemed. Nature started the year without her. Died, not of Corona, but because of it.

John*, 87, retired smelter. The son lives with his family in southern France, and the borders are closed. His heart would have made it one more year, but not with a new horror message in the news every half hour. His Charles is just over 60, and now they give pills to the old people in France, to make room at the breathing machines. And that funny guy from Rammstein is also in intensive care. If it even gets to him, then someone like his Charles won’t stand a chance. The denials from Strasbourg and Berlin, John didn’t hear them anymore. With his tablet he had, as they say, peacefully passed away. Died, not of Corona, but because of it.

Ben*, 16, Stephen Hawking Fan in 10th grade. Just as much bullied in online classes as formerly at school. But at least there he would see during the break Stella from 11th grade, the highlight of the day, his star that made him go around. Lately, the bullies had a new nickname for him: the Virus, because he did often have a cold. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but all day long with his panicked mother hen in that tiny apartment, no thanks, he could do without. 20 gramm of Paracetamol did the trick, and see ya. Died, not of Corona, but because of it.

Joan*, 53, cashier in a supermarket. At the frontline, eight hours a day with a mask behind a plastic pane helplessly exposed to the enemy’s assault. One night, she ran a fever and couldn’t breathe. Her husband, Paolo, called the hotline, 911 was always busy. They told him to isolate her in the bedroom, the doctor would be around. Paolo cried in the hallway, as his wife gasped and whimpered behind the door. When the ambulance came, she had stopped breathing. One day later she died in intensive care. The test came back negative. Nocebo. Died, not of Corona, but because of it.

Eliane*, 42, late stage breast cancer. She had fought to the last, operation and chemo, nothing worked. Her last wish was that, when the time came, her man would hold her hand. Then the hospitals closed their doors. In the early morning hours, Eliane died. Alone. Not of Corona, but because of it.

That same night, Giovanni*, 50, died in the room next door, of pneumonia. Despite his debilitating illness, the former railway employee had dreamed to the last of Deutschland sucht den Superstar. To be on TV, for once in his life, that would have been it. Sadly, the virus test came back negative, even in death he didn’t make the news. Because unless it’s Corona, you can forget about your headline.

*all names changed by the author, for the usual privacy protection reasons.