I’ve been thinking a lot about lockdown language since the coronavirus outbreak began to really take hold in the UK. We have heard so many new words and phrases in such a short space of time. We all use terms like ‘social distancing’, ‘the new normal’ and ‘unprecedented times’ like they are … well … the new normal. Somehow these thoughts and phrases have morphed themselves into a poem. I’ve never shared a poem before, so be gentle with me. I hope you like it.

Lockdown
Shutdown
Everybody hunker down
Stay at home
Stay alert
NHS will not be hurt
Happy birthday
Wash your hands
Do not go to foreign lands
Shut the pubs
Shut the shops
Don’t go out until it stops
Isolate
Innovate
Don’t upset the R-rate
Home work
Home school
Keep to the two-metre rule
WhatsApp
Quiz on Zoom
Broadcast from your living room
Once a day
On your bike
Run away that second spike
New normal
Strange times
Line graphs as the death rate climbs
In it together
Save lives
Drive your car to test your eyes
Unprecedented
PPE
Family we cannot see
Face masks
Social care
Covid cuts to style your hair
Learn a language
Bake some bread
Maybe even clean the shed
Pasta, flour
Toilet roll
Panic buying; stock control
Social distance
Furlough
Rainbows in your window
Help your neighbour
Food banks
Thursday clapping; showing thanks
High fever
Persistent cough
Cross because the football’s off
Find a vaccine
Track and trace
Keep your hands off your face
Testing centres
Slow the spread
No funerals to mourn the dead
Picnics
Groups of six
Take note of what the trend predicts
Garden centres
Hardware stores
Queuing just to get indoors
Intensive care
Ventilator
Become a home-school educator
No more weddings
No more crowds
Birthday parties not allowed
YouTube
Joe Wicks
Find new ways to get your kicks
Can’t find quiet
Can’t find space
Family all in one place
Need your colleagues
Need your friends
Need your social weekends
Led by science
Daily briefing
Not just numbers; people grieving
Missing contact
Missing cuddles
Missing sharing mental struggles
Lockdown
Shutdown
Everybody hunker down

For the latest UK Government advice on coronavirus, please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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