Updated May 6th, 2020 at 13:45 IST

'We are not all in the same boat...' Covid poster & poem win Internet; Here's their story

As the world grappled with the upheaval of COVID-19, a short poem shared on Twitter became a beacon of hope and mental health awareness worldwide, here's why:

same boat
| Image:self

The Coronavirus pandemic has sent the world in a tizzy, with news of lockdowns and quarantines taking a toll on each one of us. While governments have advised extreme measures to contain the virus from spreading further by making a clarion call for staying home, it does not come without its own set of challenges. 

In the hopes of shedding light on the various ways people are affected by the Coronavirus lockdown, Damian Barr, columnist and author of You Will Be Safe Here released a sensational poem that appears to have resonated with netizens. To the extent that the poem has now been shared on various news and social media platform, invoking a sense of solidarity.

Seeking safe harbour amidst Coronavirus

Succinctly summed up and shared by the author himself on his Twitter handle on April 21, the poem quickly went viral, garnering over 2,000 retweets before it was picked up by a leading US daily unbeknownst to him and shared widely on their website, this gave the poem a far greater push than he could have envisioned. However, many users on the microblogging website speculate that the poem is a means to raise awareness for Mental Health Week, which happens each year between May 4-10.

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Here's the full poem:

I heard that we are in the same boat. 
But it's not that.
We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.
Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be.
Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine in optimal: a moment of reflection, or reconnection.
Easy, in flip flops, with a whiskey or tea.
For others, this is a desperate crisis.
For others, it is facing loneliness.
For some, peace, rest time, vacation.
Yet for others, Torture: How am I going to pay muy bills?
Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter (this year there were no rich chocolates).
Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days.
Some were in their "home office".
Others are looking through trash to survive.
Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money.
Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks.
Others to escape.
Others criticize the government for the lines.
Some have experienced the near-death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020. Others say the worse is yet to come. So, friends, we are not in the same boat.
We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm.
It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, more than looking, seeing.
See beyond the political party, beyond biases, beyond the nose on your face. Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other.
Don't be a judge.
Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him. We are on different ships looking to survive. 
Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.

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While the poem itself is an ode to staying non-judgmental and being kind to each other, its catchy lines were further accentuated by the fact that it was accompanied by a stellar illustration made by Barbara Kelley, a graduate of Pratt Institute in New York. Take a look at the image here:

barbara kelley

Image credits: © Barbara Kelley

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Here are some reactions to the heartwarming piece and the illustration:

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Published May 6th, 2020 at 13:45 IST

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