A Harvard professor strikes a chord in poem dedicated to frontline workers fighting the pandemic

Blurred figures of people with medical uniforms in hospital corridor
Blurred figures of people with medical uniforms in hospital corridor (VILevi)

HOUSTON – A Harvard Medical School professor and doctor of internal medicine published a poem as an ode to essential workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic and their families and it’s now circulating widely on social media.

Wendy Stead, MD authored the poem “An Essential Worker’s List of Pandemic Chores for the Kids”, written about the children of essential workers who were left home to take care of the chores, from laundry to schoolwork.

In the poem published on the JAMA Network, she emphasized that she “is an essential worker” and called it a comfort of being one “while the dead (bodies) piled up.”

“It’s OK to lose the game. It’s more important to try your best. But if you must throw your bat down in disgust, walk away so your teammates won’t see. Sometimes a leader needs to stay calm so everyone else knows it will be OK,” the poem said.

Many of the readers on JAMA Network took the time to comment on her poem, saying it captured the conflict between a mom with her love for her children and her career as a frontline worker.

To read the full poem, click here.


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