No that’s not a misspelling. Last night I went to see the show Fly at the La Jolla Playhouse. It is a Peter Pan story with a modern twist where Wendy is the protagonist and there’s a surprise ending. The music and dancing had all of us in the theater tapping our feet and moving to the rhythms. Tinker Bell, a sassy cunning flying fairy added a different dimension to this timeless tale.
For two hours I was transported to another world. I didn’t worry about who was sitting next to me (no one coughed or sneezed), the ushers wore gloves as they handed out the programs, and I wiped down the arms of my seat. I left everything else behind as well.
Covid 19 has pervaded my existence. There are daily updates from the organizations with which I am affiliated, about the precautions they are taking. Indeed, I should have been boarding a plane on Friday morning to attend the Tucson Book Festival–arrangements I made several months ago with my good friend Krista. Alas, it was canceled, and thanks to the largesse of Southwest Airlines I didn’t lose anything.
Last Shabbat, Rabbi Shulman at Congregation Beth El offered ways to participate in greeting the Torah as it goes around before and after it is read. He said if one chooses not to touch it, it’s okay, it doesn’t make it a less sacred communal moment. I have my own ideas, and of course, I put my prayerbook on the Torah cover, as is my custom, but I didn’t take it to my lips…okay, so that’s a small change in me.
On the internet, Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israeli Religious Action Center, reported that she addressed empty pews at a congregation in the Bay area. There were pictures of her, with the rest of the clergy, talking into monitors via Zoom–a precaution for people to stay home. Many university classes, all over the country are suspending live classrooms. In New York gatherings of 250 people or more are suspended.
For years I’ve worried about the isolation of young people as they have hunkered down further into the technology. A conversation takes place via texting, and social interaction is limited to Instagram. A recent trip abroad reinforced this new isolation/a-socializtion (a term I’ve just phrased) when I saw most people, even some close to my age, walk along with earbuds, not looking where they were going or even acknowledging anyone else.
I’m feisty and tenacious and refuse to succumb to total isolation until it is absolutely necessary. I’ve made some minor concessions, like making my own hand sanitizer, carefully wiping down the equipment at the gym, and using wipes to grab grocery products off the shelves. I may even stock up on toilet paper–lord only knows, without going to Costco, I have more than enough provisions to last a month.
But I will continue to go out, acknowledge people with a smile, talk to strangers, admire cute babies without touching them and take myself into flytes of fantasy to get away from this crazy world we live in…and Coronavirus is only one thing going on right now…let’s not get into the impending presidential campaign.
Thanks for reading my rant.