May 2020

Illustration ©John Suder

We’re all feeling a little sad. Our lives have been turned upside down. We’re frustrated because an invisible enemy is taking lives and upending our sense of normalcy. In America, we shoot down our enemies or sue them into oblivion to make them disappear. It’s not happening this time. This thing does what it wants, on its own terms. Right now the virus is killing 3000 Americans per day. Reports are surfacing that it’s now mutating. You can get it once – then get it again!

We’re living in a bad sci-if movie. 

Americans simply aren’t good at being told what to do. They’re not very good at sitting still, either. With the weather starting to break, many have simply decided “Yea, I’m done with this. I’m gonna go outside and be normal again.” That temporary stay of execution will come back to haunt us later this summer. It’s going to be brutal.

Enjoy your haircut, Karen. I hope it was worth it.

I can’t even look at my calendar. Each day I get the notifications of canceled events. I feel awful for the kids that were supposed to have prom and graduate now. The couples who planned that special wedding, only to be postponed (or even canceled – yikes!). Birthdays, anniversaries, christenings – all the things that make life rich have been postponed or made into a Zoom meeting. Our social lives are now led via a webcam. 

I miss the mundane. I miss my routines. I miss going to the gym, then messing it all up with a stop at the bagel shop. I miss just strolling through a home improvement store, daydreaming about all the house projects I can’t afford. I miss impromptu errand runs that turn into an adventure, I miss taking a drive on the weekend to see where I end up. I really miss restaurants, and what I wouldn’t give for a few too many good German beers and conversation at my beloved Biergarten on a Friday night.

We stay home because we have to. We stay home to protect not only ourselves but to protect others. We stay home because this thing will kill you and we stay home so that our hospital workers are not overwhelmed and forced to make difficult choices on who to treat. We stay home because its the smart thing to do. 

For those that can’t stay home – the essential workers: those in healthcare, the grocery workers keeping us fed, the bus drivers, the ones out there every single day, dealing with the knuckleheads. You’re the heroes. I pray for your safety.

The good thing about a catastrophe or a crisis is that they eventually end. And this will – just not next week or next month or maybe not even until next year.

But mark my words, there are better days ahead.