As we creep up on a year of Pandemic, lets take a moment to look back on how far we’ve come in the last year. To say it’s a been a bit of a bummer, would be an understatement to the extent that they were playing ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ as the Titanic went down when they should have been playing something more dire.
As anyone with a TV or Internet connection knows, the Pandemic still rages. Despite the ongoing lockdowns in Los Angeles and London, the good news is that in the Film Community, protocols have by and large worked (apparently, we owe it all to Tom Cruise?) So, while there are shutdowns here and there, overall, the strategies discussed and deployed last Spring are still working for us.
The vaccines are out there now. My wife just got her 2nd shot at Dodger Stadium. I took her there last week, and I have never seen so many traffic cones in my life. While the rest of Humanity seems to be chasing Bitcoin, I feel like I missed out on investing in Traffic Cone futures. Also, If I could turn back the clock to the beginning of 2020, I would have heavily invested in cardboard boxes. I’ve have been able to retire on what has shown up at my house alone.
So, as we edge closer to widespread availability of vaccines and some semblance of normalcy lets take a moment to look back on the highlights of this past year. Lets call it Covid Nostalgia.
1. The mute button on Zoom is your friend. Barking dogs, screaming children, or just your own inner screams of existential angst finding their way to the surface are neutralized by this handy tool.
2. Mask Wearing. At this point, who amongst us has not cleared a dresser drawer and dedicated them to masks? Every style, pattern to entertain members of your immediate household, or the formal black cloth ensemble that goes with anything. And, lets not forget the center console of your car that is filled with blue surgical masks, and the floor of the backseat covered with used and dead soldiers.
3. The Amazon Person. While many packages just sort of appear, there are plenty of times you actually see them as they run by you in the driveway to place the package far enough away from you both to keep safe. However, not far enough away so you don’t back over it as you take your car out of the garage.
4. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. Admit it, you resent them a bit. When they got sick, the shit really hit the fan. That ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ was on everyone’s top 10 streaming movies to watch took the edge off a bit, but they will always be remembered as the Typhoid Mary’s of Spring 2020.
5. Politics. Lets face it, it was the icing on the steaming pile of ‘The Help” pie that was 2020. I don’t care where you come out ideologically, it was like watching a slow moving crash of two trains each pulling car after car of flaming dumpsters. And when we thought it was over, we got weeks of waiting for resolution. Then we got truly demented people storming the Capitol to take Congress hostage. Then, after the pissed off Senators railled at Trump for trying to kill them, half of them decided it wasn’t such a big deal, being in mortal danger and all. Trump himself turned out to be the Carole Baskin of politics. He didn’t feed Melania to the Tigers, only Democracy.
6. Black Lives Matter. I hope we’ve made some progress here, I really do. When you think about it, in a fair and just society, that espouses in it’s founding document “All men are created equal” it shouldn’t have to be a thing at all, but it is. I have no answers, I’m just trying to listen as hard as I can and be a positive voice.
7. Social Distancing. I actually like it. Those that know me well, will attest that A.) I tend to keep my distance anyways, and B.) unless you know me really well, don’t try to touch me. Needing six feet of personal space on every side pretty much puts me out of the Astronaut program, but, seeing their side of it, on the space station, my constant recoiling might well flip some toggle switches that backwash the sanitation system into the cabin.
8. Living in the Moment. I did a lot of this. While many days devolved into hand wringing and gnashing of teeth while I waited for the other shoe to drop, I actually made some progress. I sat outside a lot, unless it was 140 degrees, like it was for a week in July. I went to the beach four whole times. I hadn’t been in like 10 years. Also, chores around the house fit pretty well between Zoom calls, so there was an odd sort of balance that gave the day structure and a sense of productivity. And in the end, the effects of the Pandemic on work and life were not nearly as dire as my mind made them out to be.
So, as we navigate past the year anniversary of this global tragedy, and into spring of 2021, remember one thing; We’ve made it this far. Though it felt as if the world was ending at times, it didn’t. I’m not discounting the great tragedy that this has been, I’m saying that where there is reflection there is progress, and where there is a new sunrise, there is hope. Keep walking, keep smiling, and find a way to help someone less fortunate than you.