|The last normal thing: Northbrook Chamber of Commerce meeting, March 6, 2020.|
“Any idiot can survive a crisis,” Anton Chekhov once wrote, “It’s this day-to-day living that grinds you down.”
OK, Chekhov didn’t actually write that — at least not anywhere anyone could find it. Witty, anonymous thoughts are sometimes paired with him, or Hemingway, or Kurt Vonnegut, to give them a little extra pop.
Though the non-Chekhovian observation is popping aplenty right now, with an additional twist as we try to survive day-to-day living in a crisis. The worst of both worlds. Of many worlds, all burning. Since it can be easy to lose track — it’s Monday, right? — let’s review.
Mid-July in the Plague Year of 2020. Four months since what I consider the last normal thing, the March Northbrook Chamber of Commerce meeting. The benchmark before life got strange. Take a look at the picture. Crowded, huh? Shoulder to shoulder. Did you ever think you’d miss crowds? Not me.
More than 135,000 Americans dead. Six hundred Americans die of COVID-19 every day. No end in sight. Economic collapse. Thirty million unemployed. Complete paralysis of the federal government, frozen, punctuated by the continual yapping sound of our imbecile president.
Plus, his clueless fans demanding to die. Plus, nationwide civic unrest over racist police brutality followed by ... well, where are we now, exactly? Some Great Awakening to the racial disparities of our country? Pretty to think so — that is Hemingway. Although to me, it seems the only people really confronting the situation are those who already know.
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