How to Describe the Pandemic to Anyone Who May Have Slept Through it

Pam Gaslow

Once upon a time in the modern world there was a global pandemic. They called the pandemic the Coronavirus and people did stupid things, like name their newborns after it.

The Coronavirus was a great time to be alive, for no one except dogs and corporations who manufactured toilet paper and face masks. Everyone else went broke, got fat, and became violently horny - never a winning combination.

It was a sad time for society, but also a time of growth. Hair grew, unemployment skyrocketed, tempers exploded. Weed was deemed essential and consequently more and more people had no idea what day it was. Humans paced their living rooms in angst while animals roamed the streets in glory. Sharks infested the coastal shores and alligators glided peacefully through the Venice canals. Dinosaurs thought about making a comeback, but only on t-shirts.

A lot of things also saw a huge decline. The crime rate dropped. People stopped killing other people because after dark they couldn’t find any. Extramarital affairs came to a screeching halt. The economy fell into a sinkhole. The stock market plummeted. And then came back. And then plummeted again. It went up and down more than a porn star trying to score best “actress” at the AVN awards, (which are obviously, along with everything else in the world, cancelled this season.) Serotonin levels dropped and people stayed home and cried and watched an incarcerated tiger junkie rise to notoriety.

It wasn’t all bad though. Many persevered and began to find new ways to entertain themselves. They worked from home and organized their closets, self medicated and screamed at their kids. They embraced sexting before breakfast, loungewear all day, and cereal for dinner. A lot of people tuned in for the cringeworthy train wreck that is Brittany Spears Instagram account, while others tuned in for the cringeworthy train wreck that were President Trumps daily virus updates. Many grew frustrated with the authorities and, after reading at least five news stories, magically morphed into epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists. They occasionally took breaks from their new superior roles in order to partake in a myriad of vapid distractions, including Facebook “challenges” and dreaded 50 person zoom calls. They accomplished all of this with dignity and grace in between morning and afternoon naps.

Since outdoor activities were limited, a large percentage of the population increased their online presence. This took place in many forms - stalking, shopping, and - the most productive and time worthy - arguing and protesting about the coronavirus. Was it real or not? People also found awesome new ways to judge each other - based on levels of quarantine productivity, social distancing practices, and the decor of your home, surreptitiously scrutinized during zoom calls. People waited sullenly, donning pale complexions and shitty clothes, for the mailman to bring their stimulus checks, while Kyle Jenner posted tone deaf giddy Tiktoks with full glam hair and makeup from her newly purchased $36.5 million dollar compound in Holmby Hills.

Time went on and the quarantine kept getting extended. People got hornier.

The President became more intolerable. No one had anything new or old to talk about. Natural nails, grey roots, and wrinkled foreheads made a swift yet unwelcome comeback. People stood in line at supermarkets and pretended not to recognize their friends and neighbors with face masks on. No on knew what to do anymore. Some went into exercise frenzies, while others sat on the couch comatose sending desperate nudes, stockpiling resentments and drinking bleach at happy hour.

Then Spring came and things started to look up. People began taking six-feet-apart “leisure” walks outside their Covid prisons. A more positive vibe was in the air, and then, lo and behold, so were DEADLY ASIAN MURDER HORNETS. They abruptly made their way onto the scene making leisure walks potentially lethal. Lyons and tigers and bears, oh my! “And while its stings are capable of killing people, that's relatively rare.” So people forgot about them and Spring continued and flowers bloomed and then, on May 8th, it snowed. IT FUCKING SNOWED. It didn’t snow a lot, but enough for Floridians and Californians to get a good self righteous chuckle out of it.

By mid May the government began to ease restrictions, but but people were skeptical about the next steps. Many people were apprehensive and confused. No matter what the authorities told us all I heard in my head was “Life will never be the same! This is the new normal! You will never make love in this town (without a mask) again! But I took my chances and did it anyway. Because life is short, and every pandemic deserves a happy ending.

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I am primarily a humorist but also write about dating, relationships, sex, addiction, and any random observations I feel inspired by.

Miami Beach, FL

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