Rikke From 

The time with no distancing 

People touched each other 

Gathered in the streets and shared bacteria

Ignorant and careless of dying 

From the next epidemic 

Carried by humans, air and fluids, animals and surfaces


When the world wasn’t ill  

These 4 women stood close and took a picture 

And touched each other unafraid

Back then, social distancing was for 

Outcasts and algorithm majors 

For finals week and extended family gatherings 


The Bubonic plague killed 25 million Europeans when Zoom and antibiotics weren’t invented 

And it was way too early in world history to speak about humanity 

ACT UP said don’t be afraid of our people but you were 

And it wasn’t the kind of people humanity would care for 

And Ebola happened outside the world of humans

because humanity didn’t care about that kind of people either 

Did you care when Chernobyl happened? Or was Eastern Europe too Eastern to be Europe? 

And did we learn nothing from Rwanda we all decided not to see

Because it was also outside the world of humans

Instead we speak about Norway’s July 22 and 9/11, Charlie Hebdo, or Notre Dame 

We care more about a building in France than populations 

Because dead things can be more human than humans in the eyes of humanity  

These women didn’t care about the world burning down around them 

But when we all missed graduations and concerts, we suddenly came to see this was a crisis 

Like the crises never existed before you had to sacrifice 

not your life, but your liberty, to save a life 

But was it too much to ask?