Life A.C.: After Corona
By Buddy Early, May 2020 Issue.
As I am writing this, I have been quarantined in my apartment due to the
Coronavirus pandemic for, oh, I guess about six months. Actually it’s been 13
days. Either way I’m going to need someone to tell me if I’ve lost weight or
gained weight when we are done with this. I can’t tell.
Speaking of tangents, it’s impossible at
this time to tell when we might be done with this, thanks to young
people who think you can have as many as you want over to a house party as long
as you know them. (Coronavirus only spreads amongst strangers, apparently.) If
you ask me, “social distancing” is a phrase that was never specific enough, and
it has led to people interpreting it in some peculiar ways. Words that should
have been used instead were quarantine, isolation, and stay the fuck home.
One thing I know is that, despite not
knowing when, we will get through this. But who knows what the world
will be like when we emerge from quarantining, or even by the time you are
reading these words. Maybe everything will be business as usual. Maybe we will
be a better society. Maybe we surface into a world greater than anything we’ve
ever known before? Perhaps, miraculously, we will have flying cars, pills that
taste like an entire meal, and robots that perform sex acts. (“Alexa: give me a
hand job.”) That would be cool, huh?
Or maybe we will have entered the
apocalypse we’ve all been preparing for. Sure, I’ve watched too much of The
Walking Dead and numerous end-of-the-world films — so many that I could
give a Top 10 list — so my imagination runs wild at the slightest suggestion of
“everything is different from now on.”
Maybe this column is the first of several
that will serve to educate the next civilization about what life was like.
Maybe it’s my charge to help them understand the former Earth. Maybe I’m the
last chance we have to impart wisdom and knowledge to those who come after us.
If that is the case then they are in big
trouble. They’d be better off learning about B.C. (Before Corona) from Chrissy
Teigen or maybe or one of those TV judges. They all seem pretty smart.
Nonetheless, if it is up to me, I suppose
I’m not one to shirk my responsibilities. My words to the next civilization,
however, would be brief. The list of things I will not tell them about
is much longer than the list of things I will tell them:
I will not tell them about The Bible, or about religion at all.
I will not tell them about Capitalism, borders, or patriotism.
I will not tell them about how two men sitting upright in bed together
on thirtysomething was a milestone, and how it led to countless
advertisers pulling their commercials.
I will not tell them that Crash beat Brokeback Mountain and
Munich in a Best Picture race.
I will not tell them about cancel culture, NASCAR, or podcasts.
Still, there are a few things I will tell them:
I will tell them about Law & Order, but not about Law
& Order: Criminal Intent.
I will tell them about rediscovering Little Debbie products in the
waning days of the pandemic.
So, if you’re keeping track: I will tell
Law & Order
and Little Debbies. Yep, that’s all.
But that’s all stinkin’ thinkin’ — as Al
Franken would say. Maybe it’s the Little Debbies Zebra Cakes talking, but
despite my imagination running amok I still choose to think we come out of this
as a better society. Not just the same, but better.
I am hopeful that when things return to
normal, they won’t be … well, normal. We will transform into a nation that is
more kind, more patient, more selfless and understanding. We will achieve
perspective and appreciate cultures, leading to less racism, sexism and
homophobia. We will come to an agreement that people are worth more than $7.25
an hour and nobody needs, or deserves, a billion dollars. We will be ashamed
that it took a crisis like this to accept that healthcare is a right, not a
This utopia sure seems like pie-in-the-sky given our B.C. point of view. But in A.C., maybe we get smart.