So, you want to go back to normal when this is all over
Where our NHS is underfunded
And under-prepared for what is needed
You want a normality that sees
Key workers on zero hours contracts
Or paid the minimum wage
You want to take for granted
delivery drivers, supermarket staff,
Go about your business and leave
the homeless on the streets

You want to return to a normality
That bails out the banks, rewards the rich
Ignores the poor and vulnerable
You want a normality that protects privilege
And scorns those that don’t have it
A normality that castigates foreigner’s
All those people not born in the UK,
Who kept afloat the NHS, the care system,
picked the crops that would have rotted in our
fields, so that we could eat in our little castles

You’d prefer to go back to normal
Where staff who look after our elders
Are doing so without the
necessary equipment and support
You want a normality that sees
Traffic jams and saturated skies polluting our environment
And putting the very existence of our planet at risk
A normality where economic growth
Is the measure of progress and not
The health and well-being of our populations.

Do you really want to return to a normal
Predicated on the survival of the fittest
When what this has shown us is that
Collectively we are only as strong as our weakest
You want a normality of individuals scurrying
Like lemmings to keep up with the Jones’s
Not having time to dwell on the needs of others.
In their communities, their countries, their world
A normality where success is greed and power
The state is organised to protect such status, rather
than to care best for those who need its help most

So, be careful what you wish for when you say
“I just want things back to normal.”
Think carefully about what you really mean
Is it the freedom to go out, to socialise,
To meet a friend and give them a hug
The freedom to roam the countryside, wherever you please
To eat out, visit the local pub, watch your favourite team
Freedoms many normally just take for granted, and yet
For the weakest and less fortunate in the world
Such options are a normality only lived in dreams
And if, if, we go back to a normality that fails
To recognise our responsibilities to all citizens of the world
Then our children, and our children’s children
will never forgive us.

Peter Kay
First written 24th April 2020