Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

COVID time

Norelle Lickiss 
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



View of Earth, showing Africa, Europe, and Asia–taken by Apollo 11 crewmember. 17 July 1969. Image by NASA, Johnson Space Center.

Who will be the chronicler of this? 

of how the tower fell, 

of how the tolling bell 

sounded the world’s crying. 


And how the darkness fell,  

how deep the night, how bare 

the city streets, how hard  

to count and lay the dead. 


And how the distanced other 

ached for touch and how 

the crowded ones still loved 

and held the ones who died. 


And how the shielded ones

so cared for those who lived

and died with some who died.

We weep and fear the tide . . .


How hard to wait this dawn!

Who can be the chronicler of this?





NORELLE LICKISS, AO, MD, is a retired consultant physician with a dominant medical interest in matters related to cancer and medical education. For decades she was immersed in clinical practice, mainly in teaching hospitals and in medical education, nationally and internationally. The title honorary doctor of medical science was conferred by the University of Sydney in 2017. She is currently Hon Professor at the University of Sydney and Consultant Emeritus at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Royal Hospital for Women, and University Associate (medicine) University of Tasmania. She has a long-time interest in the humanities.  


Summer 2020  |   Sections  |  Covid-19

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