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Opinion: A Christmas poem for 2020

‘A Visit from Dr. Fauci’

(Apologies to Clement Clark Moore, 1779-1863)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the city

Not a creature was stirring. Oh my, what a pity.

The face masks were hung, by the front door with care,

But the chances of using them was indeed rare.

The children were busy, trapping lots of gray foxes —

Oh no, not for real — but with their Xboxes.

Mamma with her Clorox and I with my mop

Had just finished cleaning, from bottom to top.

When word from the street gave us a true scare;

‘Twas said that Ol’ Covid was lurking out there.

Away to the window I flew like a parrot,

And there was a snowman, some coal, and a carrot.

His coal eyes did glitter, his long nose was funny;

The rest of the scene was just bright and quite sunny.

Then my eyes caught a glance of a miniature pony,

And riding astride him was the good Doctor Tony.

More rapid than heart beats, my eyelids did flutter,

This vision of Fauci had caused me to mutter:

“Don’t panic, go easy, and just be yourself,

That’s not Doctor Fauci. It’s just a lost elf.”

I drew back my head from our front-facing casement

When Mamma gasped and made a remarkable statement.

“It’s Fauci, I swear,” her gaze fixed on him.

It was Tony, by golly, who was looking most grim.

His eyes behind glasses, his smile a false front

His voice, it was hoarse, hardly more than a grunt.

His tummy was flat, his BMI* lean,

His hands to his elbows were brilliantly clean.

His face mask was snug, as tight as Old Scrooge,

His cheeks, a bright red, as if covered with rouge.

“Be cautious,” he told us, “And shelter in place.”

The doctor was serious; you knew from his face.

In his nose, he did place a stick that was magic;

It showed he was well, but it could have been tragic.

Then he mounted his steed and waved a goodbye,

As Mamma swooned a bit and emitted a sigh.

Then I heard him expound ere he pranced out of sight

Happy Christmas to all, and remember to wear your face mask, wash your hands frequently, observe social distancing, don’t gather in large numbers, get a flu shot, get vaccinated when the serum is available, and be well in the new year.

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*Body Mass Index

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Jim Glynn is Professor Emeritus of Sociology. He may be contacted at


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