Family Declares Post-Pandemic Plans
We must look to the future; no jinx
I almost hesitated to publish today’s paper. I remain slightly anxious that, by stating out loud what each of us is looking forward on the other side of this pandemic, we might inadvertently jinx the whole thing—rendering the vaccine useless or stimulating a particularly troublesome mutation in SARS-CoV-2. I’m a natural worrywart, but let’s throw caution to the wind, make the bet.
This moment is a strange one in this slowly unfolding catastrophe of a calendar year, hope in the midst of a rapidly-escalating nightmare. Over 3,000 people died of COVID-19 in the United States yesterday, more than died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Today will be no fewer. It’s an unfathomable tragedy, day after day, even more horrifying and inexcusable than the spring surge. And yet we know there’s an efficacious vaccine—three, in fact—in rapid production now. If we haven’t jinxed it, we have to believe that next summer will be different than this one. The months between now and then are going to be so dark.
But there’s light, a little. There’s a crack.
Here’s a trick: We’re each giving ourselves something to hold onto in the winter, as that light approaches. For me, a cab ride, windows down, with a surly driver who has a chip on his shoulder about the Canadian Prime Minister. For Kina, a surprise party full of kids (and a few of her favorite adults). For Laurea, a cavalcade of fire and destruction (which, if you know Laurea, is fully on-brand). Not pictured here: family hugs, karaoke, trips to London, office conference rooms, bouncy castles, museums, and the opportunity to worry about literally everything else. It’s easy to forget how much there is to look forward to. If we’re lucky, we’ll be lucky.
Too lucky by half. I was talking to a friend today about the twinge of guilt I sometimes feel in writing a newspaper that is so unflaggingly positive. For every wacky headline I dash off, there are a thousand obituaries in the wings. My survivor guilt tells me that it all comes off as tone deaf—this is what we leave behind?
This is something for you to hold onto. It’s something that I hold onto, the life of a random kid who is just about four years old and barely aware of what is happening (beyond the masks and the remote school). This is for you, today, but stop right now and take something for tomorrow—doesn’t matter if it’s glorious or mundane. A day making out with all your close friends. A shared glass of wine. An elevator to the roof. A rocket ship. A surprise party.
Tomorrow is our publisher’s birthday, a thing for us all to celebrate. Hold on.