A year ago, my city made some of the scariest and most surreal announcements that I had ever heard. You know exactly what I’m talking about:
Shelter in place.
State of Emergency.
Don’t breathe the air.
Don’t touch the surfaces.
No, really, don’t panic.
*KILL BILL SIREN NOISES*
DON’T FUCKING PANIC
STOP BUYING ALL THE TOILET PAPER
WEAR A MASK
DON’T WEAR A MASK
YES WEAR A MASK
GO OUT FOR A WALK
*CELEBRITY COVER OF IMAGINE PLAYS FAINTLY IN THE DISTANCE*
Needless to say, I panicked. How would I not? It was Friday the 13th, and New York City was shuttering itself against an invisible apocalypse, and I was in the middle of planning a wedding that was supposed to be eight weeks away and I didn’t know yet whether I should forge ahead or postpone, the last movie that I had seen in a cinema, perhaps ever, was CATS, and did I mention that there was a GLOBAL PANDEMIC SUDDENLY DISRUPTING CIVILIZATION AS I HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN IT??
And a global pandemic, by the way, would’ve come in dead last if I was voting on my preferred apocalypse scenario. For one thing, definitely not enough Harrison Ford for my liking. (Just, you know, if I have to live through a disaster movie I’d at least like Harrison Ford to be there. Is that too much to ask?) And then as a second nitpick, HOW was it NOT zombies? Come on, man! I was training for zombies for years! Hollywood told me it was going to be zombies, dammit!
But anyway. The lockdown began, and it lasted a hell of a lot longer than the original “fifteen days to flatten the curve.” And every day was a little bit weirder and shittier than the day before it, and that was 2020: a seven-layer dip of fuckery, and somehow we never ran out of chips.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this like you don’t know what happened. But then again, I guess that quarantine was a special and unique personal hell for each and every one of us, right?
I did have some good quarantine moments, though- and as we slowly claw our way out of this quagmire, I’m trying to keep those memories at the forefront of my mind and let go of all the terror and panic and chaos.
So, here’s a list of the highlights of my quarantine, in no particular order:
– My husband and I got married this year;
– I got really in shape (and then back out of it, and then back into shape AGAIN);
– I successfully completed NaNoWriMo for the first time;
– I walked through Times Square and not one person tried to sell me anything;
– My mom’s cancer went into remission;
– I got involved with social justice and charity work;
– I produced an independent film;
– I started playing (socially-distanced virtual) Dungeons & Dragons with a super cool group of new friends;
– The husband and I got to go on a series of little (isolated) weekend vacations;
– I became a member of The Satanic Temple;
– Donald Trump stopped being president; and
– probably a bunch of other things, but can you blame me for being a little scatterbrained after all that frigging rigmarole?
I hope you’ve also been able to have at least a few good moments over the past year- but more than that, I hope that this upcoming year is a lot less quarantined.
It would also be cool if the upcoming year had a lot more Harrison Ford. You know, since I’m hoping.