Sunday, April 5, 2020

COVID now worse than DISCO

I guess I was about 25 when I confided to an older friend my sheepish confession of my generational uselessness.

He and his peers valiantly marched in protests against racial hatred, voter inequality, gender discrimination, unjust Far East wars and Watergate corruptions.

“Geez,” I complained, “all my generation has to brag about is we rid the world of disco.”

His response forever endeared himself to me and led to a lifelong conviction that my life mattered.

“Well, Chris, that was very important. I thank you for your service.”

It ain’t exactly like I helped conquer Mount Suribachi but ever since I’ve always felt a quiet kinship to the honorees on Veterans Day.

If you switch just one letter COVID could be an evil anagram of DISCO.

It’s a tricky business comparing a lethal pandemic to a widely disparaged but otherwise harmless musical genre, but readers have plenty of doomsday options on the web. If you’d prefer to focus on sadness, here’s a good weeper from today’s Washington Post: “I’m a funeral director: The pandemic has made saying goodbye painfully lonely.

Perhaps I’d advance my career if I learned some earnest perspective, like don’t write that vanquishing disco music was equivalent to fighting the Japanese on Iwo Jima. But I just can’t help it.

I guess I’d describe myself right now three parts fearful/one part hopeful — sort of an Arnold Palmer Tea of emotions. Or to put it with some paraphrasing to music …

At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how COVID did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along …

Even someone who hates disco has to admit, Gloria Gaynor’s 1979 anthem, “I Will Survive,” is pretty catchy.

Highly infectious, you might say.

I’m heartened by all the human goofiness we see flourishing in a time of death and fear.

I wonder if during the pre-internet days of the deadly 1918 Spanish flu outbreak the still-healthy frittered away their remaining days teaching the cat stupid tricks or if they just moped around till symptoms left them bedridden.

I’m sure once they eliminated that scourge no one dreamed it could return to ravage anew. They were mistaken …

And so you're back
From outer space
I just walked in to find you here with that pandemic look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I'd known for just one second you'd be back to bother me and Doc Fauci

I think part of the reason I remain cheerfully optimistic, which is superior to stubbornly optimistic, is because I still feel some control over my outcome. I’m home and get along well with the cellmates I used to call family.

It is spring, the season when Mother Nature puts on her make-up.

And I with my whole heart believe in the men and women who are working to vanquish COVID. I can in my mind see them sitting crowded elbow-to-elbow at the press conference table — screw social distancing! — announcing the vaccine.

I see them laughing with relief at their historic achievement. One of them is holding a stick with a novelty coronavirus beach ball dangling from a string.

The whole room erupts in song …

Go on now, go! Walk out the door!
Just turn around now
'Cause you're not welcome anymore!
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt us with goodbye
Do you think we'd crumble
Did you think we'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not I, I will survive

So disco lives. 

And, for now, so do you and I.

What choice do we have?

I believe it’s our duty to press on, to love the ones we’re with, encourage the others and support the front line essentials we’re relying on to get us through this.

It’d be presumptuous of a heathen like me to declare our doctors and nurses godforsaken, but as a taxpayer I’d sure say those in the hospitals are govforsaken.

Me, I’ll try and do all those worthy things, the whole time trying to get the disco to quit running over and over through my head.

It’s all part of stayin’ alive.

Stayin’ alive

Stayin’ alive

Ah, ha, ha, ha …

Related …

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