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The Night Before COVID-mas

'Twas the night before COVID-mas

and all through SF-land,

not a creature was stirring,

not even below Tara's outstretched hand.

The shelter-in-place order has most people spooked;

deserting the streets, and restaurants,

like we're about to get nuked.

An order though seemingly drastic,

was carefully considered for the greater good,

(as proactive public health policy should)

to avoid a fate nothing short of crap-tastic.

Orders so widespread in their reach

shuttering bars, schools and, gyms;

and yet in effect so abrupt,

leaving us wondering

who'll survive, or go bankrupt.

Despite the urging to keep calm,

the public bemoaned the disruption to

life as usual, and mostly to their sense of aplomb.

So away they became swept by

a manic panic that over them crept.

Into Whole Foods they marched,

to clear out the inventory, and with it,

all of their whole paychecks' glory.

Disbelieving the mayor's assurance

that things shall be open, available,

because what's the evidence so far

that things will remain stable?

Nowhere was this more clear

than in Hayes Valley here,

that's normally hopping with cheer;

The square of Patricia's Green

had no cars, nor people to be seen.

While the Avenue of Van Ness

that's almost always been

one congested, hot mess,

had barely a car, bus or cab,

not even those unhoused and in distress.

Three weeks, til 4/7 they said,

but perhaps it could be more;

can anyone really know

or anticipate what's in store?

We'll take it day by day,

and need to be patient and kind.

Because now this is the only way

that COVID's spread can decline.

What we'll find out soon,

perhaps by April's full moon,

is whether in times of crisis,

this city that prides itself on disruption

can overcome and rise above the interruption?

So on this eve of Corona-lockdown

my wish is that we earthly beings

operate from love, patience, kindness,

and find new purpose and meanings.

In what it means to unite, to uphold respect

for preserving our sanity

and mending the fabric of our

shared, common humanity.

So to you all a good night,

and a happy "retreat"

(vs. "distance" or "quarantine"),

when I hope we'll go the extra mile

to help others feel more loved and seen.

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