Creative Writing on Chronic Illness

Sentenced: March 2020

A poem about being 'shielded' during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.

Trapped. Anxiety, pining for dog walks;
Fresh air, trees, interaction and faces.

Each day these rooms feel smaller, closer.
Not permitted to leave in the ‘shielded’s’ cases.

In this house, I must be forced to wait;
Until the month is between five and eight.

Even family, the enemy, in the age of airborne.
Threats are unseen, for the immunosuppressed.

Whilst the healthy can exercise, stock their essentials.
The shielded rely on good deeds from the blessed.

In this house, I must await my fate;
Until the month is between five and eight.

The weak are used as justification for the lost.
A reassurance for the healthy and burying of heads.

‘Underlying health condition’, a scapegoat for cause.
Really it’s the blaśe, unnecessary blocking of beds.

In this cell, I will stew; contemplate;
Until a vaccine or an ambulance awaits.


  1. My friend is shielding as she has stage 4 cancer, but she’s doing small dog walks at 6am, so no one is out then, could you do that, or late at night?? Yoga in the garden is good if possible

    1. Been told I’m not allowed to leave the house for at least 3mths. I was doing dog walks 2wks ago but the hospital said I had to stop that too (tbf I did have a young boy come running up to me and my dog which made me realise contact wasn’t completely avoidable). They are even forgoing my regular blood tests and cancelled my usual appointments as its deemed a lesser risk for the treatment to go unmonitored for a time than me going near others. So garden it is. Only been 2wks and I feel like I’m going mad!

      1. Such a shame, and I guess having a dog would put you in more contact with others. The oppression of staying in is harrowing, so definitely get in the garden more. Sending much love xx

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