Owen Dan Luo is a medical student in the Class of 2023 at McGill University.
This year, we have all been dealt a blow
Lives overturned by something we can’t even see.
At the mercy of this relentless foe,
Our society was brought to its knees
From physical distancing, social isolation, suffering and death
The virus has made us fear our very own breath.
And instead of every healing embrace,
Only distrust festers in its place.
Robbed of our ability to physically unite,
Robbed of much of what is meant to be human,
Extinguishing our light.
Surrounded by this pitch black
We chose not to quiver in face of this attack,
Instead, we courageously scrubbed and cleaned
Washing away not only the virus, that fiend,
But our doubt, ego and hate
In realization that we win or lose together,
From the cleansing wake of soapy lather, we rejuvenate.
In soapy bubbles, our reflections stared back at us,
Asking us to take a hard look at ourselves,
Reminding us to see the beauty hiding in all things –
No matter how small.
Especially that which resides from within us all,
As we became symbols of hope to each other like doves.
Reminded that the only true currencies of life are kindness –
With love we embraced this newfound darkness as an empty canvas,
A limitless backdrop to be illuminated with new light
And imbued with new colour,
And we got right to painting.
In a flurry of brush strokes, we reimagined ourselves
Rose above this new physically-distanced reality,
Cared for each another like we have never been asked to before
With compassion and solidarity.
Though the virus continues to keep us apart,
We have not been distanced from our shared humanity.
Though we cannot link arms,
We can connect our voices, our minds, and our hearts
To respect those who have suffered and lost their lives,
The pandemic will pass, just like does bad weather
And on that glorious day, we’ll rise from our knees with an incubated kindness
To walk towards a better tomorrow – together
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