A Song to PPE. A poem by an anonymous Nurse

Roll up! Roll up! And see the show!
There’s a circus in town, well, didn’t you know?
No striped, big-top-like tents to see,
Just follow the signs for A&E…
Yes, the PPE circus, the greatest of shows,
Be amazed! Be appalled! For here anything goes!
Let’s take a look, then, come with me;
It may cost you some sleep, but admission’s still free…
Where’s our PPE? Keep back! Don’t crowd!
Some target breaches are just not allowed,
Yet, with shortages caused by executive folly,
These are tormented times to be spent on a trolley.
Next, let’s go with a porter, just look at him run!
Without gowns, without masks, it can’t be much fun.
While we’re sorry you feel that you’re under-equipped,
Just make do while we wait for supplies to be shipped.
Nurses in tears don’t look good in the press,
We need stiff upper lips, not a fuss about dress –
Be more prudent! Perhaps practice make do and mend –
Forget that last death was your colleague, your friend…
Hark now! A fanfare! Pompous trumpeting announcement,
Of whatever was stated yesterday, here’s management’s denouncement…
Left hand? Right hand? You expect coordination?
But when nurses object to juggling, that’s called insubordination.
For we’re juggling experts, and conjurors too!
Why use a new mask when the old one might do?
So let’s take a gamble with lives, place your bets,
On who might survive and our future regrets.
For these fraught tightrope walkers, let’s hear some drum rolls,
If they slip up, applaud as they’re dragged ‘cross the coals
By those who know better, who have MBAs,
And well know that a nurse can be split in three ways…
From the dizzying heights of executive pay,
Laugh long and laugh loud, let these clowns make your day!
Their oafish cavorting’s a side-splitting act,
Just don’t split your sides here – we won’t cope – that’s a fact…
For this circus to thrive will take only one trick –
Just don’t catch the virus – don’t ever get sick,
Don’t be old, break a bone and please don’t bump your head,
And for pity’s sake people, don’t ask for a bed.
But, as we now know, even clowns get ill,
Even those who think they never will;
Who, despite their hubris and their fuss,
Are just as frail as the rest of us.
When brought to the wards up from A&E,
The chaos they’ve caused is the chaos they’ll see,
And they’ll need nurses to tend them,
And when that’s the case,
We’ll wipe the grease paint grin from the idiot face.


Former nurse with daughter a front line midwife

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