Viewpoints on 2020
By Barbara Fox
2020 was quite a year; life changed almost overnight because of the pandemic. The newspapers and television were reporting horrifying stories and statistics about a deadly disease that spread in the air. Thousands of people were dying and hospitals were filled to capacity and more. People started wearing masks, quarantining at home, staying six feet away from each other, working from home. Restaurants, schools, theaters, libraries, and nonessential businesses closed, and going into a grocery store began to seem like a dangerous adventure.
Writing has always been my way of dealing with life, and with all these changes and staying at home, I wrote more than ever: essays, poems, and several plays, many of which were produced virtually by local theater companies. I decided to save them, put them into a book, and I wondered if other writers were also writing about coping and dealing with life during the Pandemic. I thought about collecting plays, stories, articles, etc. and putting them into a book along with my plays and essays. I posted a notice on a few online sites, and people responded with essays, poems and plays.
The plays include my plays “Fast Forward to 2040,” “The Visit” (about a couple that is reluctant to have company), “QuickMeet” (about a virtual dating service), and “Mothers, Daughters, Friends” (about homeschooling). Stephen Olson submitted a play about a virtual office meeting, and Marla Schwartz wrote a one-minute play about people affected by the virus.
Sharon Baker, Mitchell Ball, John Harpin, Natalie Cobo, Benito Perri, Pamela Salem, and Greg McDaniel offered advice, suggestions, and feelings about everything: from appreciating nature to trying new recipes, making new friends and staying connected with family and friends through social media, exercising, meditating, practicing gratitude, and more. Mitchell Berkman contributed a rap, Venessa McCaffrey offered poetic tributes, Barry Katz’s poems provided a little humor, and Luis Roberto Herrera summed it all up with “Keep Running.”
Viewpoints on 2020 also has “mini views,” short statements like, “If I’d known last March that it was the last time I would eat in a restaurant, I would have ordered dessert,” and, “The swimming pools are open but, due to social distancing, there will be no water in lanes 1, 3 and 5,” and many more which point out that, while the pandemic is a serious problem, there is still humor in the ways people deal with it.
“Viewpoints on 2020” is available as both an e-book and a print version from Amazon.com and many other online bookstores. Any profits from the book are going to be donated to a food bank in Hollywood, FL.
During the middle ages they celebrated the end of the plague with wine and orgies.
Does anyone know if there is anything planned when this one ends?
Having plans sounds like a good idea
until you actually have to get out of your pajamas
and leave the house.
FAST FORWARD TO 2040
When I was a little girl, I liked to hear my mother talk about the days when she was growing up and then, when I was “Up” my children liked to hear stories about my younger days. Children always like to hear stories about their parent’s lives so, I’ve been thinking about what mothers or grandmothers will tell children about life before 2020. Life has changed so much in the last few months, the ordinary things we did last summer seem almost unbelievable now. Would children in 2040 even believe that we used to hug and kiss friends and go to buffet restaurants and sit next to strangers in movies? I imagined myself as a grandmother in 2040 talking to my six-year-old granddaughter, I’ll call her Jenny.
We would be curled up on the sofa, the requisite six feet apart. She would say,
“Tell me about when you were a little girl Grammy.”
I would tell her that I used to sit on my mother’s lap and she would hug me a lot.
“What’s a hug”? Jenny would ask.
“It’s when two people put their arms around each other and sort of squeeze.”
“Doesn’t it hurt?”
“No, it feels wonderful. Stand up for a minute and I’ll show you.”
Jenny stood perfectly still as I wrapped my arms around her and hugged. “It does feel good,” she said, “Why don’t we do this all the time?”
“Well, I guess we could do it at home sometimes, if your mommy and daddy say it’s all right but never, ever outside. And never hug anyone else.” I said. “I used to hug lots of people; sometimes, we would even kiss each other.”
“Oooh,” Jenny said, “Why would you do that?”
Read the story and more plays, articles, and poems in “Viewpoints on 2020.”