2020, of course, divided nicely into pre- and post- Pandemic.
Early in the year, a friend threw her husband a birthday party that included a concert performed by a member of their favorite band. I was so effusive in my praise the artist posted it on his website under the Living Room Concerts heading. Remarkably, during this party we all sat next to each other on the inside of a barbecue restaurant! On the inside! Next to each other! Breathing! (Can you imagine?)
I watched movies at the theater. (Weird, right?) I saw Cats, 1917, Joker, The Turning, and The Gentlemen. Sitting right next to people.
And, I sent spit through the US postal system and it arrived in a timely manner, which is to say I looked at my DNA and was unimpressed.
And then, on the last day of February, I made an oblique reference to some virus that seemed to be troubling cruise ships.
And then, The Plague.
At first, I was annoyed that it took away my writing class, fancy ice cream, the aquarium, concerts, and toilet paper,
At first, I thought the lockdown might last two months, even, but eventually I wised up.
At first, I didn’t believe Gary had the Virus, but then I realized he had, even with a negative test. Late in the game I thought I had it myself.
Eventually, I changed to a medication with easier access to a normal immune system if I needed it, and later a vaccine was promised, by Election Day even.
But, there were still some High Points, none untainted by the plague, except I suppose for the space launch.
Covid was great for the animals. The famous Bruno the bear got within miles of my house. Raccoons and ducks wandered the neighborhood one morning. A Coopers hawk ate a raven in the backyard.
The plague gave me some excellent on-line concerts, like the Steven page concerts and, the best thing of the year, Dave’s Family’s concerts.
Speaking of concerts, the Barenaked Ladies Christmas concert was only forty-five minutes long, but Deck the Halls sung to the tune of War Pigs was worth fifteen dollars alone. (‘Oh lord, yeah” was replaced with “Oh San-ta!”)
What else happened ... I gained sixteen pounds, as so many did, and less typically, I read through the cardboard box containing my inheritance from Jerry and decided to both fur and plagiarize his novel out of spite.
2021? It all depends. Let’s say everything goes back to normal. If I ever get on a plane I’ll wear a mask anyway. I’ll draw something on it like “your cold is my covid.” If movies go back to releasing at the theater before streaming, then I think people will rebel. Maybe theaters can change, allow the occupants to group-text in the theater so there’s more of a sense of community, give foot-rubs mid-movie, I don’t know.
People say the 2020s will be the Roaring 20’s again, but I don’t know. I don’t plan to double-down on freedom. I like working from home, I like having all my groceries delivered, I like not shaking hands, I like not catching colds, I like walking into my closet and saying, “oh, that outfit’s cute” and it’s something I’ve already bought.
Also, after nine months, Gary says he is starting to feel like himself again, and that’s the most important thing.