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Corona Diary - July 2020

June brought truly chilling national and global levels of deaths. The World Health Organisation warned that the pandemic was now soaring globally out of control. Britain, America and Brazil - each led by deniers and procrastinators - became the three countries with the highest per capita death rates in the world. While other countries used an established ‘track and trace’ phone app to deal with the pandemic, Johnson, Cummings and co. wanted to develop a new British one which Johnson promised would be ‘world-class’. It failed to work. With utterly inadequate testing in place, we began to end the lockdown and re-open for business. Within days, Leicester had to go back into lockdown due to a huge spike in infection rates. Meanwhile, the whole of the NHS began preparing for a nationwide spike in the autumn

Corona Diary by Nick Toczek blue.jpg



Don’t tell me Donald Trump is thick.

He’s as wise as a white house-brick.

The more you test, the more get sick.


Don’t tell me Donald Trump is thick

To wear no face-mask in public.

He knows he would look Is-lam-ic.


Don’t tell me Donald Trump is thick.

He’s not scared of no pan-dem-ic.

He’s on hydro-‘you-know-what’-ic.


Don’t tell me Donald Trump is thick.

While reading may not be his shtick,

He’ll wish away plague, like magic.


Don’t tell me Donald Trump is thick.

He grasps health like a trained medic.

Just drink bleach to be cured real quick.


Don’t keep saying that Trump is thick.

In his own words he’s fan-tas-tic.

Takes ‘fake news’ to prove he’s a prick.



We’ve Yorkshire puds wi’ curry in,

Canned ale in all us fridges.

We’re done wi’ bloody worryin’.

We’ve burnt them friggin’ bridges.


We’ve a larder stacked wi’ curries

An’ a fridge what’s full o’ beer.

Sod the virus. We’ve no worries.

We’ll be ’appy ’oled up ’ere.


An’ we’ll binge on all them curries

While we’re downin’ all the booze.

Sod the virus. We’ve no worries.

‘ell, our city’s in the news!


So let’s order in more curries,

Refill us fridge wi’ lager.

Sod the virus. We’ve no worries

Playin’ Candy Crush Saga.


We’re ’ere scrannin’ curry sarnies

While we’re knockin’ back the fizz.

Yeah, we’re champion. No barnies.

Sod you, virus. We’re the bizz.





While the virus still remains

Fill the pubs and fill the planes.

Lose more lives, but count the gains.

Profit motive has no brains.


Science silently abstains.

Maybe masks in shops, on trains...

Johnson carefully explains,

Hand-washing away bloodstains.



Lockdown’s over. We’ve Covid on the loose

Gurgling infection, gargling juice,

Pissed as a rat or a cat or a moose.

What they’ve called war won’t end without a truce.

Surely we should distance, but what’s the use?


Table to table, booze as his excuse,

He’s only got himself to introduce

Pissed as grouse or a grebe or a goose.

Slurring his words of pandemic abuse,

Could be he’s pretending, could be a ruse.


Plenty of punters for him to seduce,

He stumbles through, apologies profuse.

Pissed as Dionysus, Bacchus or Zeus

He spits his virus, necks them in his noose,

Slips into the gents, slithers down the sluice.




Slide into stylish with make-up applied.

Glance in the mirror then saunter outside

Seizing the street as you glitter and glide.


Taxi or bus for your city-bound ride.

Wearing a mask would be undignified.

I’d say that’s vanity. You’d call it it pride.


Either way, you put precautions aside.

You’ve got a face which you don’t want to hide.

Oh, yeah, you look good. That can’t be denied.


Pavements prove crowded yet onward you stride

Through all these people, this vast human tide.

To stay safe is stewed here. Distancing’s fried.


Meet with your mates, pick a pub, push inside.

Brilliant night! You’ve a grin a mile wide,

Covid in someone whom you stood beside.





Never met anyone like her, he’d say.

She moved in telling him she’d come to stay.

They wed because she took his breath away.


‘Death us do part’ had referred to his life.

He used to call her his dangerous wife.

She’d got a tongue which was sharp as a knife.


She’d bathe in warm water. Soaps drove her spare.

Her infectious laughter rang through the air.

She’d dine on red meat served bloodily rare.


Mealtimes and in bed she’d always want more.

Appetites which would leave him insecure.

He’d lie wide awake till he heard her snore.


He’d have huge love-bites all over his neck.

She’d say don’t worry. It’s only a peck.

Within a few weeks, though, he was a wreck.


Work took her worldwide. They drifted apart.

This broke his health and his lungs and heart.

Virus plus cupid will kill with one dart.



In the early months of 2020

As Covid-19 spread

Care homes were ordered to take

Hundreds of elderly patients

Whom the government

Were throwing out of hospital wards

In order to free up beds

In an NHS rendered inadequate

By years of deliberate Tory underfunding.


Denied masks, gloves, visors, hand wash

And all other forms of PPE,

These committed care homes did as they were told.

They received an influx of untested patients

Many of whom came infected with the virus.


Spring and early summer saw infection spread

To patients and to staff.

Tens of thousands died.


During the first week of July,

Prime Minister Boris Johnson,

The man directly responsible for this massacre,

Blamed the care homes.

He accused them of not having followed proper procedure.

What procedures? There were none.

The government ignored care homes.


Johnson knew this, which was precisely why he lied

As he so often does when in the wrong.

The truth is transparently clear.

His government directly caused these deaths

When they moved untested patients into unprotected care homes..


And while the homes then strove to cope,

You, Prime Minster, and your tow-the-lying-line ministers

Simply left your helpless victims to die,

Which they duly did, executed by the virus

After having been sentenced to death,

Not by care homes, but by you and yours.





Jair Bolsonaro, clown prince of Brazil,

Says he’s caught Covid but claims he’s not ill.

Wealth doesn’t mean he can just pay this bill.

Death does no deals, it’s a desperate drill.


Boasting ahead of the outcome’s not brill.

Aged sixty-five, he’s well over the hill,

And with no magical jab, drug or pill,

Odds are that he’s gonna go through the mill.


He can’t write his future. Fate holds that quill,

Writes it for each of us, is writing still.

Survival’s neither a wish nor a skill.

Maybe he won’t die, but maybe he will.


Whether his chances are good, poor or nil.

He should surely simply shut up and chill.

Meanwhile, like everyone, he’ll wait until

The virus decides whom it’s going to kill.





Don’t let deaths detract from how fine dining feels.

Let cash counter Covid which no treatment heals.


They’re giving our gluttony discounts and deals,

With pittances proffered to we down-at-heels.


The poor must paw menus and pick what appeals.

VAT down and a tenner’s what Rishi reveals.


Here’s government slippery as jellied eels

Or some deep-fat fryer in which lard congeals.


They’ve set up devices for greasing these wheels,

Thus feeding us reasons to risk restaurant meals.





‘Nice to see you. Where’ve you been?’

‘Nowhere, mate. Just staying in,

Front room, bedroom and  kitchen.’

Long pause… How should chat begin?


See me grown so pale and thin,

Fed from packet, fridge and tin,

Masked from eyes to whiskered chin,

Scruffy clothes, unhealthy skin.


Him the same, as if my twin

Refugee ragamuffin,

Battle-scarred, but didn’t win;

Looks like he’s on heroin.


We two, weak as watered gin,

Are lockdown dumbed. Its toxin,

Shuts us up; a discipline

Slammed like door or lid of bin.


Silence deafens with its din.

Loss of language. Stupid grin.

Words denied their origin.

Say something. But both heads spin.





They suggest we’re frightened to venture on the street,

To enter local shops to buy clothing, veg and meat,

To sit in caf and restaurant and order food to eat,

To have our hair and nails done so we can all look neat,

To crowd on bus, train, aeroplane, taking every seat,

To all go back to normal like sheep that baa and bleat...


As if the profit motive didn’t drive this deceit,

As if their Russian roulette was simple, safe and sweet,

As if there was no virus left, to fear, face and beat,

As if we lived to wrap ourselves in its winding sheet,

As if the recent past was just for us to repeat,

As if all those deaths were only details to delete.



Back to dumb bloody nobodies reclaiming roles

Back to non-bloody-entities in fish-faced shoals

Back to smug bloody Gove patronising us proles

Back to more bloody Brexit and border controls


Back to what bloody comes from opinion polls

Back to bad bloody plans from public school arseholes

Back to their bloody bums and us clutching loo rolls

Back to not bloody touching with bloody bargepoles


Back to black bloody rights and racist cop patrols

Back to crap bloody courts and all such rigmaroles

Back to post bloody this and bring on all the trolls

Back to so bloody what when my poems score goals.



Lucky to recover. You’re glad you’re still here.

And you think it’s all over, but nowhere near.

In Spain, China, Italy, it’s become clear.


If you’ve had Covid, whether mild or severe,

There’s more to emerge for you and yours to fear.

It seems you’ll suffer further year upon year.


You may find that your memory starts to smear.

Energy saps and you just can’t persevere.

Dark pandemic leaves its darker souvenir.


Young or old, asymptomatic, no frontier.

In brain, heart, all of you, it’ll still adhere.

Having done with your lungs, it’ll reappear.



‘Friggin’ listen, friggin’ knob,

Friggin’ simple friggin’ job,

Friggin’ wrap yer friggin’ gob.


What’s friggin’ wrong?’ we friggin’ ask.

‘Just friggin’ do the friggin’ task

An’ friggin’ wear your friggin’ mask.’





whose every tax trick prank

pumps false profits through his bank



whose xenophobic skank

jumps on all who look non-Yank



whose China-hating chank

bumps us all to join that flank



who’s charming as a plank

stumps the poise of a septic tank



whose egocentric swank

dumps him with himself to thank



whose eloquence, gone blank,

plumps him right where language sank



whose old white racist wank

lumps him with each far-right crank.




Let’s not bother who banks bucks when business pays no fees.

Let’s let money-makers do precisely as they please.

Let’s watch while Trump and Johnson both wallow in such sleaze.

Let’s forgive them. Neither’s near as wise as Socrates.


Let’s lock up lockdown logic and throw away the keys.

Let’s bounce into Brexit cos it’s bound to be a breeze.

Let’s blame all blacks and Asians for spreading this disease.

Let’s also lay the cause at the doors of the Chinese.


Let’s pray to God and wash the floors while we’re on our knees.

Let’s not waste our worry on the oceans and the seas.

Let’s chlorinate our chicken and strip Brazil of trees.

Let’s genocide The Yemen and Myanmar and bees.


Let’s not care one crochet whom cops or Covid seize. 

Let’s each be unaffected by this, that, those and these.

Let’s give a gritty grin because life can be a tease.

Let’s smile and take that selfie. Are you ready? Say ‘cheese!’






Whether to work or whether to play.

Whether to cook or a takeaway.


Whether to snack more, whether to weigh.

Whether you’ve had enough beaujolais.


Whether to news-watch... yay or nay?

Whether to weather it with dismay.


Whether to wait in the shop doorway.

Whether it’s okay to disobey.


Whether to visit. How long to stay?

Whether what you need’s a holiday.


Whether to use a pub or cafe.

Whether with no mask is too risque.


Whether your life is in disarray.

Whether to just do nothing today.


Carved to hunt, haunt and harrow

Comes Corona’s cruel arrow

Shaft of trimmed stem of yarrow

Each flight fletched from a sparrow


Crafted head, hard and narrow

Can cut clean through to marrow.



You’ve kept isolated, stayed free of the bug,

Grown proud of yourself, even been slightly smug.

Then suddenly somebody gives you a hug.

They’ve caught you off-guard, and now you’re in a fug.


You’ve made such an effort, yet they, with one tug

Have undone the whole lot by pulling the rug.

Affection displayed by an innocent thug.

Just stifle your anger, cross fingers and shrug.


The world will unearth you, don’t doubt that, you mug,

Discover you hid in this hole that you’ve dug,

Like you’re a green shoot that’s been found by a slug,

Or poor Tutankhamun, so long safely snug.


You’re finite, we all are. We’ve death’s weight to lug.

And yet… sod this virus. Let’s dig up that drug,

Hit back with a vaccine and pull Covid’s plug

To find some more life left. Pour that from the jug.



Don’t touch that handle, it could be infected.

Don’t say a word. You might get disrespected.

Don’t dare to cough in case Covid’s detected.


Don’t do whatever would seem unexpected.

Don’t take a risk with what’s not been perfected.

Don’t forget facts that can’t be recollected.


Don’t battle bills or you'll be disconnected.

Don’t leave your mask off or you’ll be ejected.

Don’t lie cos here’s why, you could be elected.


Don’t ask which way. You’ll just be misdirected.

Don’t think of sex. You’ll be left unprotected.

Don’t come all clever. You’ll soon be corrected.


Don’t cruise the crime scene cos you’ll be suspected.

Don’t think you’re different and won’t be affected.

Don’t cure the sick cos you’ll get resurrected.



Freed to do just as they please

Common sense’s refugees

Wear no masks and share disease

Every time they cough or sneeze

Keeping Britain on her knees.


Stupid is what stupid sees

Protesters like each of these

Tweedledums and Tweedledees

Earning daft as their degrees.

Tosh is all their protest frees.





As if Covid’s leer,

That broad viral sneer

Drawn from ear to ear,

Would just disappear,

They sound their all-clear.


This they engineer

Far too soon, I fear.

Hear that foolish cheer,

Joyous atmosphere

From the herd they steer.


That’s us. Shed a tear.

Cost has proven dear:

Family, career,

Debt our souvenir,

Price far too severe.


Watch this mirror smear,

Blur its sheer veneer,

See fate interfere,

Bring a new nadir,

Covid changing gear.


It’s gone? Nowhere near.

Year on bloody year

It will persevere.

Here’s why I’m sat here,

Pouring one more beer.



Hate bare feet that smell of cheese.

Hate the Russians and Chinese.

Hate those similar to these.

Hate infection and disease.

Hate your liar-billy-teas.

Hate much more than merely these.


Hate not flying overseas.

Hate Bayer for killing bees.

Hate Brazil for felling trees.

Hate thick snot when people sneeze.

Hate Fox News and the BBC’s

Hate much more than merely these.


Hate how we treat refugees.

Hate car parks for charging fees.

Hate it when you lose your keys.

Hate small dogs with pedigrees.

Hate whoever disagrees.

Hate much more than merely these.


Hate your abnormalities.

Hate the rich for yachts and skis.

Hate them for their total sleaze.

Hate despots for their decrees.

Hate adverts for crap settees.

Hate much more than merely these.



We’ve jobs to find and bills to pay

But, yeah, we’re fine. We’ll be okay

Cos Trump will wish this weird away

And meanwhile we live day to day.


We row a bit when tempers fray

And though our moods are prone to sway

We’re mostly pretty good and, hey,

Life never was a cabaret.


The news makes out the future’s grey

And that this germ is here to stay

But we just shrug, and anyway

You can't believe what experts say.


It’s strange in pub, shop and cafe,

Plus queues outside the takeaway.

Yet we’re all good and, come what may,

We’ll keep our best sides on display.


After odd fights, to which we’re prey,

She gets chocolates and a bouquet.

We’ve all got those we’d love to bray

But laws now make such stuff risque.


Those deaths aren’t good, all that dismay.

But none of us is sick, hooray!

What we all need’s a holiday.

Till then, mask on, rules to obey.




Love to lousy leaders for deceptions they achieve.

Love too to their families for the funds they slyly sleeve.

Love to Covid they've allowed to kill and to bereave.

Love to penny-pinching profit in which they believe.


Love to our own populace, so easy to deceive.

Love to Brexiteers with fake futures they perceive.

Love to gullibility round which such fables weave.

Love to Europeans. Blow a kiss now as we leave.


Love to the hopes of have-nots that those who do have thieve.

Love to food-bank users for the pittance they receive.

Love to jobs lost, lifestyles wrecked,what little we retrieve.

Love to rich sophistication ripping off naive.


Love to left, right, centre, faced with facts they misconceive.

Love to those who cling to faith when fate holds no reprieve.

Love to the despairing for whom circumstances peeve.

Love to we who really care but, in the end, just grieve.



Covod-19 is the tune of the dying

The song of infection which we’re each defying


The rhythm of deaths as they’re multiplying

The scansion of spreading with which we’re all vying


The beat of test, trace and identifying

The rhyme of a vaccine on which we’re relying


The metre of microbes intensifying

The music that’s virally demystifying


The song of the lungs that it’s occupying

The stress of the symptoms and what’s underlying.





Days are parcels not received.

Days heave burdens unrelieved.

Days have names we’ve misconceived,

Wrongful days get interweaved.


Days are never quite achieved.

Days grasp hours unrelieved.

Days get plundered, weeks bereaved,

Thirsty days thus thugged and thieved.


Days are paper handkerchieved,

Screwed up days we’ve disbelieved.

Suspect days see us deceived.

Guilty days won’t be reprieved.



Isolate for two weeks if you’ve been to Spain.

Isolate a fortnight coming home again.

Isolate for two weeks once you’re off the plane.

Isolate a fortnight. You went. Why complain?


Crowded flights in and out. What did you expect?

Virus still full tilt, no vaccine to inject.

New spikes predicted. You never even checked.

You should have waited. Your holiday’s been wrecked. 


Isolate for two weeks. Time you can’t afford.

Isolate a fortnight. Evidence ignored.

Isolate for two weeks. Hope you’re not too bored.

Isolate a fortnight. You’ve earned this reward.



Hi there. It’s Covid here. Don’t believe we’ve met.

Just to let you know I haven’t finished yet.

Hardly started, actually. Sorry to upset.


Courtesy call to say I’m spreading my net.

Unsolicited, with just a hint of threat.

Soon in your area. See you then, I bet.


Delivering one thing many people get.

Most stay quiet though they’re ill and wet with sweat.

If inconvenient, accept my regret.


Thanks for listening. Forever in your debt.

See you soon. Look out for me. I won’t forget.

So that’s all. End of call. Stay safe, friend, don’t fret.



Covid strays from trough to peak.

Covid weighs each winning streak.

Covid’s gaze goes blank and bleak.


Covid greys to shabby-chic.

Covid plays at hide-and-seek.

Covid’s maze through which we sneak.


Covid stays alone, unique.

Covid likes to laze, act meek.

Covid’s days feel like a week.


Covid lays on pure mystique.

Covid says ‘I seldom speak’.

Covid’s frozen phrases freak.


Covid preys upon the weak.

Covid praises this technique.

Covid’s blaize becomes oblique.


Covid sways, then vents a shriek.

Covid slays with claw and beak.

Covid’s ways grow slyly sleek.


Covid sprays what death will wreak.





Here in the north. We must keep apart.

So says Matt Hancock. That Tory fart.

Donkey who pulled the care home corpse-cart.

Contrast being that donkeys are smart.


Covid’s returning. This is the start.

A spike on the way. We’re at the heart.

Truth is, of course, it didn’t depart.

Fear is it’s heading way off the chart.

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