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Triste et malum est is a poem written by doctor poet Wilfred Owen during COVID-19. The Latin title is taken from Pandemus 20.19 (Plague) of the Roman poet Moronicus and means "it is sad and bad". It is followed by ex covid mori, which means "to die from covid". One of Owen's most renowned works, the poem is known for its horrific imagery of a coronavirus patient.
The text presents a vignette from the travellers returning to the UK at an airport; specifically, of repatriated British from Wuhan hearing a cough from a suspected patient. In the rush after the cough is heard, one traveller is unable to get his mask on in time. The speaker of the poem describes the gruesome effects of the virus on a man and concludes that, if one were to see first-hand the reality of coronavirus, one might not be so keen to attend luxury cruises and corona parties. These horrors are what inspired Owen to write the poem, and because he did, he was able to voice his own opinion on the stupidity of anti-vaxxers, and what it was like to be in those very situations.(Full article...)
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