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Thea Achillea, 6, is demonstrating emotional maturity well beyond her years in a poem she’s dubbed, “Dear Coronavirus.”
The British grade schooler was hit with inspiration when her mother Rebecca, 36, prompted the girl to lean into creativity as a way of coping with the pandemic.
“I was being asked question, after question, after question,” Rebecca, a children’s portrait photographer from east London, told Mercury Press. “So, during home schooling, I encouraged her to write them all down and it was created from there. It was as a result of frustration from me as well really, as I just wanted these questions all out the way.”
“‘There is no reasoning with children at her age,” she added. But the deep reflections of the grade schooler’s 13-stanza lyric surprised the mom of two, who recorded her daughter reading the piece and shared it online.
Evidence of Thea’s understanding the magnitude of the virus — “I wonder how you pick and choose the people who get sick,/ I so wish you hadn’t come here and spread your germs so quick” — and thoughtful observations — “You’ve made my mummy nervous to step beyond our door,/ She’s tried so hard to school us, but it’s not like before” — impressed her teachers, too, who “absolutely loved it,” according to Rebecca.
“The school shared it on its social media pages,” she said. “They really liked the work and were really proud.”
Since then, the family has received comments from people “both young and old,” but especially from other parents of young children, who saw the poem shared “far and wide, thousands of times” across social media, according to the proud mom. “Some said it has brought a tear to their eyes and that it is really difficult to watch.”
Rebecca said her heartbreaking footage is a testament to the pandemic “through a child’s eyes.”
“It’s fascinating,” she said. “I like how the poem is so honest and quite raw really. I think that’s what makes it so interesting.”
Dear Coronavirus, I write to you today, to ask you why you chose to come and take away my play
We’ve been at home so long now; I’m missing all my friends,
All shops and stores have closed their doors till what you’re spreading ends.
Everything’s been cancelled, my daytime trips and clubs.
Some lessons are online now, but that’s not without its bugs
How long will you be here for? When can we go outside?
My sister’s getting on my nerves, she’s pushed me off the slide!
We FaceTime friends and family, but it’s not the same, you see,
I want to hug and kiss and squeeze and sit upon their knee.
You’ve made my mummy nervous to step beyond our door,
She’s tried so hard to school us, but it’s not like before.
We’re told to steer now, of people on the paths,
Two metres gap we have to stay, I hope that this won’t last.
I’ve learnt to make my bed though, and cook with mum and dad,
We’ve crafted lots and built a den, it hasn’t all been bad.
I wonder how you pick and choose the people who get sick,
I so wish you hadn’t come here and spread your germs so quick.
You know we’re catching up to you, it won’t be long, you’ll see,
There’s clever people making drugs to make your bad bugs leave.
The doctors and the nurse though, that work so hard and long, are tired,
Keeping you away, just leave us now, move on.
We’re all a little weary now, so sad that you’re still here,
Our world just wants to heal itself so open up your ears!
Dear Coronavirus, I wish you wouldn’t stay – just go away from here now, please let me go and play.
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