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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

‘Hide & Seek’: A poem about the pandemic, reminds everyone this ‘ain’t just some game’

The following #POPCreators entry was submitted by Shadin Kitma.

This piece was penned during the Luzon enhanced community quarantine. It was originally written in the German language by Marta Komicz and translated in English by Kitma. 

According to him, the poem describes the quarantine situation similar to the children’s game of hide-and-seek whereas everyone hopes that they won’t catch hold of the coronavirus. It also tackles “the communal feeling of uncertainty and anxiety felt by everyone in society.”

He also shared that “The poem also brings to mind how the pandemic progressed: how the virus was initially not taken seriously by many; how the quarantine drags on longer than everyone ever expected; and how, in the end, we need to stay strong and cooperate with each other to be able to prevail against COVID-19.”

Here’s the poem in the English translation, followed stanza-per-stanza by the original in German:

Hide & Seek

(Original title: Das Verstecken)


Hey, Virus, let’s play a game!

You’ll have to lose for once, all the same!

Yes, a game for young and old

Hide-and-seek, but just at home


(Hey du, Virus, lass uns spielen! 

Du musst endlich mal verlieren!

Ja, ein Spiel für groß und klein

Das Verstecken, nur daheim)


One, two, three… go home fast!

Four, five, six… drop everything in a flash

Seven, eight… hide yourself well

Nine, and ten… got to be brave as well


(Eins, zwei, drei… geht schnell nach Hause!

Vier… macht von allem eine Pause

Fünf, sechs, sieben… versteckt euch gut

Acht, neun, zehn… man braucht viel Mut)


Twenty, thirty, forty… the world plays along

Sixty, seventy, eighty… can you still go on?

Stay in hiding and don’t dare take flight!

Otherwise, there’ll be no end in sight!


(Zwanzig, dreißig, vierzig… die Welt spielt jetzt mit

Sechzig, siebzig, achtzig… seid ihr noch fit?

Bleibt in eurem Versteck und geht nicht mehr raus!

Sonst zögert sich das Ende unendlich hinaus!)


The virus continues… one hundred, one hundred and four…

Wash your hands well! Stay clear of the door!

Four hundred, five hundred… the game’s still on

No teams or partners! Everyone plays alone!


(Das Virus setzt fort…Hundert, Hundertvier

Wascht gut eure Hände! Stellt euch nicht ins Visier!

Vierhundert, Fünfhundert… das Spiel geht ja weiter

Jeder spielt allein! Keine Teams oder Partner!)


Stay calm and wait, the virus comes closer 

Follow the rules, lest you get in any danger! 

It’s over a thousand! …one thousand three hundred and eight

Game’s no longer fun, the virus stops not to wait!


(Bleibt ruhig und wartet, das Virus ist nah

Beachtet die Regeln, es ist ‘ne Gefahr!

Wow, über Tausend! Tausenddreihundertacht

Das Spiel ist nicht mehr lustig, das Virus kommt in Fahrt!)


One thousand nine hundred and seventy plus three

I want an ending already, when will I finally be free?

Sitting in my apartment, doors shut tight and all

Losing the feel for it, the game’s taking its toll…


(Tausendneunhundertsiebzig dazu noch die Drei

Ich will schon ein Ende, wann werde ich frei???

Ich bin in der Wohnung, die Tür ist zu

Das Spiel ist jetzt echt doof, ich hab‘ keine Lust…)


Been in hiding for round about 20 days

Concerned and saddened in so many ways

But I must get through this, got to persevere

Else when my next flight is will never be clear


(Ich verstecke mich hier über 20 Tage

Bin besorgt und traurig wegen dieser Lage

Ich muss aber durchhalten und mich nicht verraten

Sonst gibt es Probleme mit den neuen Flugdaten.)


Over the 2000th mark and the counting ticks on

Ever more crucial is the game’s every second

This virus looks to grow, it’s itching for a score

Don’t try anything funny now, ain’t just some game anymore


(Das Zählen hört nicht auf, es gibt schon zwei Tausend

Die Zeit in dem Spiel wird jetzt wirklich entscheidend

Das Virus will punkten, will ernten und wachsen

Ihr bleibt schön ruhig, macht bloß keine Faxen!)


You see, it can never win. It’ll never go all the way 

In this game we as children so often played

We’ll lock up COVID, no way it’ll go far or deep

Because we – not the virus – are the masters of hide-and-seek


(Es kann doch nicht gewinnen, das schafft es nie im Leben!

Wir sind doch die Meister im Verstecken, eben

Wie gut, dass wir als Kinder das Spiel so sehr mochten

Bald verkünden wir, dass wir COVID einlochten!)

Marta Komicz has been living in the Philippines since August 2018. Originally from Poland, she teaches German as a Foreign Language at the German European School Manila (GESM). 

POP! Creators/Shadin Kitma/Marta Komicz


If you’re interested in sharing your artworks, poems, short stories, or articles with us on #POP Creators, you may send them in via email at pop@inquirer.net with the subject ‘POP! Creators contribution’. If our editorial team likes your work, then it may be featured in our POP! Creators section.

For more details, read the POP! Creators FAQ page.


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