Scenes of a Pandemic

There must be a good side to the pandemic. What it is, you cannot say. You spend more time with your dog or cat. You appreciate the simple things, like embroidering masks or expeditiously ordering them online. You’ve learned one thing: there is more to do in a five-mile radius than you imagined.

It mostly involves walking.

Let’s see, you can stare at the political signs.

But there are other pandemic scenes. Let the masked ball begin!

1 Your neighbors entertain 50 unmasked people at a luau, just to make sure they infect everyone in the ‘hood. Covid is airborne, people! When will they learn?

A vintage Gothic novel. Has anyone raad it?

2 During Zoom meetings, you can now binge on e-book copies of cozy Gothic novels by Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, and Dorthy Eden. The plucky heroines quote poetry (at least in Mary Stewart) and visit a castle or a glamorous foreign country where they meet two eligible men, one of whom one turns out to be a killer or a jewel thief. They find the culprit, but do have to be rescued.

3 You acquire a huge collection of post-its, paper clips, folders, expensive fountain pens, and stationery. It is the equivalent of other people’s baseball cards or Barbies.

4 Since you didn’t follow Marie Kondo’s advice, you look through your old clothes and discover many are perfect for “loungwear.” Everyone loves the oversized Gap sweater from the 20th century, though the baggy fatigues may be too much.

6 After a hard day’s work, you decide to improve yourself by reading 20th-century American poetry. You binge-read Plath’s Ariel and decide her hymns to suicide are not her best work. You recognize Ariel for what it is–the book that captured the attention of Second Wave feminists. I do like her more elegant, formal ’50s poetry, though.

6 You spend more time than ever on the phone with the tech people, who give the same advice as the characters on The IT Gang: turn it off and on. But what if that DOESN’T work? You’d be amazed what they can walk you through.

The IT Crowd

7 You rediscover the joy of walking on sidewalks, after months of walking in the perplexingly less cushioned asphalt street to avoid other people’s spit. Now you’re too tired to walk on the street, so you hop off the curb if you have to.

Oh, and my favorite thing about the pandemic? We’re still here (as are you if you’re reading this).

8 thoughts on “Scenes of a Pandemic”

  1. Love this post and the previous one. I’ve been collecting Gothic novels at library sales. I read a lot of them in the 1960s, my teenage years. Maybe I want to return to those simpler times. Yes, they were simpler. Yesterday, two of our thermostats ordered us to change the batteries. Who knew they had batteries. Three responded well to our insertion of batteries as life support. Two did not. After my husband threw a temper tantrum and then looked at a video on-line, they obeyed (we hope; it’s warm in here this morning). I contend that technology is taking up too much of our time and will drive us all around the bend. By the way, The IT Crowd is one of my favorite shows. We all need a good laugh!

    1. Oh, I do love Gothic novels! They are such treats. And there are so many authors I haven’t tried. Wow, talking houses, though. It’s a lot of work to keep up with them. The IT Crowd is hilarious, and, I swear, turning things off and on often does the trick.

  2. I just realized that I have Mistress of Mellyn! I finished a book and was wondering what I felt like reading next, and I think this is it!

  3. Hahah..the IT Crowd’s advice is uttered regularly here (in sad attempts to duplicate their accents). Love that show. If you enjoy it that much and haven’t yet watched “Better Off Ted”, I think you’re in for a treat. It channels the same energy and you won”t at all (nor did we) that it’s about ten years old now (although only the occasional bit of fashion actually reveals that IMO). Yes, still here, and still grateful to be in relative safety and comfort, very grateful. Same to you and yours.

    1. Oh, I can’t wait to see “Better off Ted.” Somehow I missed that one. Comedy, comedy, comedy. That’s what we want!

      I agree: we’re grateful for that same thing.

  4. HaHaHa! Love this! I am bingeing on Georgette Heyer and love a good gothic too, now and then. Stay well!

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