End in Sight

by Mark C. Wallfisch

Like happy Chicken Littles, they all shouted about the end of the pandemic.  “The end’s in sight!  The end’s in sight!” 

Every blogger wrote about the year in isolation and the coming end of the pandemic way of life.  Every broadcaster told a similar story, so did print journalists, and social media buzzed.  They were probably right; the end of the pandemic was in sight.

Before March 2020, my friend Milo had enjoyed going to work, sitting most of the day in his office, digging through and analyzing data.  He consulted with colleagues.

Before March 2020, Milo had enjoyed going to the grocery store, maneuvering the aisles and gawking at all the edibles on display.  He had also gone to movies and enjoyed live shows, too.

Then COVID-19 came.

While all of Milo’s work data had previously gone to his office electronically, it now went to his home electronically.  He met his colleagues electronically, except he didn’t need to get dressed or even use deodorant.  Sandals, shorts, and a button-down were all he needed for Zoom meetings.  Netflix effortlessly substituted for real entertainment.

And deliveries started coming.  He could order late at night, and some eager soul would bring groceries to him in the morning.  He didn’t even need the button-downs for that.  Of course, there was anything on Amazon.

Neighbors from a distance, friends on WhatsApp, colleagues on the screen, and fellow congregants at the Zoom synagogue – they all admired his discipline and strict adherence to public health guidelines.  Now the end was in sight.

But in the span of a year, Milo had grown accustomed to staying home.  It was comfortable and easy.  As he saw it, this was not going to be a happy ending.

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