Enjoy, share and spread Dr. Dolly’s “Saving Ourselves”—not Coronavirus!

                 By Dolly Berthelot “Dr. Dolly” ©2020

I like Liberty, really I do.
Justice too.

And privacy matters to me
To a prudent degree.
These very American virtues
We want to maintain.
They’re worth some struggle,
Worth some strain.
Even worth a little pain.

But a pandemic makes some NEW demands.
The Future rests in all our hands.
And in our mouths and noses, you see,
Where vile germs can flow,
From you and from me.
Illness, debilitation, and death,
Erupting, attacking from our poison breath.

We each have great power
To shield ourselves and others too.
You can save me, and I can save you.
So let’s save each other,
Me, you; you, me.
A little discomfort
Can change destiny.

…But only if we all give a damn
And are willing to do
All that we can.

Really, so little is required,
Merely masks and distancing,
Till COVID’s expired.

Liberty, justice, privacy,
Not so simple these days.
Your “freedom” could mean everyone pays.
Your “liberty” may snatch mine away
And if your “privacy” hides the monsters you spread,
Innocent bystanders may soon be dead.
How is that justice? How is that fair?
Reality proves we must now beware
Of risky behaviors we perilously share
Simply by comingling “bugs” in our air.

If only we could SEE these foul beasts
Devouring people for their feasts
I have no doubt
We’d back up with ease
And likely shout out
In shock, fear, and pleas,
To strangers and kin —
And view nonchalance
As a serious sin!

Unfortunately, this invisible foe
When ignored will continue
To grow and to grow.

What’s most demanded
If we are to win,
Is a deep, deep commitment
Now to begin:
Beyond other virtues
I wish we all would
Profoundly commit
To Our Common Good!

Without that practice
From people at large,
Let’s face it, this virus
Is the Master in Charge…

“Dr Dolly,” Dolly Berthelot is a semi-retired writer, editor, communication consultant, author, former teacher, professor, and journalist, and long-time Pensacolan. Learn more at and

AUTHOR NOTE: In late October 2020, my high-rise condo, which had managed to avoid COVID-19 all year, even during the ongoing chaos of Hurricane Sally damage and repairs, suddenly had five cases. I was inspired to write the poem “Saving Ourselves” while fretting under strict quarantine because of my own exposure to this potentially debilitating and deadly virus. Fortunately, I didn’t catch it, and our complex quickly cooperated to prevent more cases—so far—instead of the catastrophe that could occur. This rhyming verse addresses our mutual responsibility as individuals and as a community, a nation, and a world, to protect ourselves and others during this pandemic. If you would like to hear the poem read aloud, check YOUTube for “Saving Ourselves” by Dolly Berthelot, AKA professionally as Dr. Dolly. You are encouraged to share the work online, orally, and in print for educational, motivational, or other noncommercial purposes—properly credited, of course. 

(Featured Image: Dolly Berthelot, © 2020)

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