Want to keep reading?

You've reached the end of your complimentary access. Subscribe for as little as $4/month.

Aready a Subscriber ? Sign In

A Brief History of a Fictional Virus

Abhyudoy Basu, 13

A poem, and video reading by the author (3:45 min)

One New Year’s Eve, many summers ago,
A man in China started to cough and other symptoms began to show.
His wife and son took him to the doctor for a test,
The doctor said not to worry and prescribed him just rest.
"It looks like a virus," he said, "but a harmless one for sure."
The man went home satisfied, that the fever wouldn’t shorten his tenure.
He went to work the next day, his symptoms having receded,
But soon it became clear that a second opinion was needed.
The man felt very tired, and his temperature did increase,
And as for his cough, it became drier and did not cease.
He decided to go to a specialist, so he went to Beijing,
And the virus test results did not make him sing.
It seemed that the virus was not as harmless as he had thought,
And that his chances of recovering were very close to naught.
After a week however, he recovered and his symptoms ceased,
But that didn’t mean that that was the end of the disease.
Soon after, his wife felt sick, and the symptoms were the same,
And it transpired that the virus was all but tame.
It had multiplied ruthlessly, infecting everyone,
The man’s employees, workers, also his wife and son.
The man’s wife’s condition began to grow worse,
The man had to take her to the hospital and leave her with a nurse.
After two days the virus had her by the throat,
She suffocated, and to the unknown realms did float.
Soon many people, across that district, especially that particular town,
Reported a fever and then did the doctors frown.
"A contagious virus," they thought, "has spread in some way or the other.
"If it is left untreated, it could turn out to be a bother."
They thought it would be wise to call a specialist from abroad,
And so they hired a specialist of Italy, and he was awed.
"It’s a virus which affects the lungs," he surmised,
"If it is left to fate, it could lead to worldwide demise."
The specialist took a sample and took it back home,
He had to study and show it to his fellow doctors in Rome.
But little did he know the virus was in him now,
Slowly it was spreading to Spain and Macau.
People started to fall ill and die,
In the States, Iran, even Dubai.
Word came out that even on a ship at the dock,
The deadly virus had come to deliver a knock.
Soon the virus began to spread everywhere,
Step out of the door? Oh! Don’t you dare.
No more cars, no buses or trains,
The killer virus had infected the world’s veins.
The roads were deadly quiet, the rail-lines rusted in peace,
Everybody in their homes, even the police.
Mother Nature was happy, the birds began to sing,
The animals reclaimed their land, even as the world died with its offspring.
Millions died across the globe, their bodies rotting in the streets,
The world’s best technology and hospitals, all rendered obsolete.
But slowly and surely, the world did climb back,
Everybody rallied together and got back on track.
So this is a good time, to reflect and turn the page,
Or else, my friends, it’s back to Stone Age.

Abhyudoy Basu, 13
Bolpur, West Bengal, India

Reader Interactions


  1. Hello Young Poet, I hope your generation will build a beautiful world for your the next by playing the role of contributor rather than only consumer.
    Thank you so much.

  2. Very nice storytelling technique, beautiful rhyme, and an awesome ending …….. a great achievement in such a tender age indeed. Keep it up

  3. Nice. Liked it. But I thought you said once that it was not supposed to be confused with the ongoing pandemic.

    Hey, by now, you should know who I am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.