Weyburn writer pens poem on impact of COVID-19 on mental health

The following is a poem, entitled “Breath of Life”, penned by Weyburn writer Jean Fahlman, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During this isolating social distancing surreal time, people’s mental health has been severely tested. People who live alone, and people who have loved ones in hospitals or care homes which are locked down, are finding the world a lonely, frightening place,” she wrote.

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“The people who provide essential services are facing the threat every day in their work place, so mental health is strained both at home and at work. Putting our concerns down on paper, or knowing that others are feeling a similar loss of security, out of control, is a healthy therapeutic way to move through this pandemic and come out on the other side.

“This will come to an end. We will still be standing.”


Breath of Life


The World Held its Breath

While the coronavirus ravaged and roamed

With no respect for status or fame

Princes, paupers, doctors, nurses

All selected at random, no favour shown


The World Held its Breath Easter Week

Masked and shrouded in fear

The dreaded virus Passover raged

People isolated at home

Watched and prayed the virus

Would quickly Pass Over the ones they loved

In care homes, the most vulnerable

Were claimed, no family contact, no soothing touch

Cold and alone


The World Held its Breath

Surreal sameness of numbing days

No purpose to rise, no safe place to go

Energy wavers with work achievement gone

Robbed of renewing, spring, summer, perhaps fall

Uncertain if the idleness will ever end


The World Held its Breath

Dreary weeks loom, everything cancelled

Social distancing wears away resolve

Try hard to believe we are winning this war

At home waiting

For life and commerce to resume again

The World Held its Breath

Hoping for respite and relief

Mortgages come due, reserve money is gone

Business dreams crushed by the heavy virus foot

In the collapse of society

The government promises riches galore

From seemingly endless barrels filled with gold.


The World Held its Breath

But the unbreakable human spirit rose

From the ashes of fear

Generosity and creativity began to ignite

Angels and heroes appear where least expected.


When the restrictions are lifted

People will emerge from safe cocoon

Flutter their cramped wings then

Bravely take flight

Back into the real world again.


The World will stop holding its breath

We can all stop holding our breath

When the corona nightmare ends the

World Will Breathe Deeply

Life will go on, hard lessons learned.