I remember where I was. Do you?
I was getting my boys ready to go bowling with a bunch of their friends when the virus got down on one knee and said, “Will you make me the happiest virus ever, and ignore everything this Dr. Fauci says?” The phone tree started and we parents decided to keep our kids home. It seemed so foreign.
That night I curled up and watched Stephen Colbert do his late night show from his bathtub, and he had a truly dire warning: We should be prepared for the quarantine to last maybe even as long as eight weeks. Eight weeks!
Back then we weren’t as concerned with cancel culture, or Dr. Seuss books, unless it was to teach about the contagion. “One Fish, Two fish, they Gave the Virus to Four Fish, and it was Exponential from There.”
As I reflected upon this past year, I thought about the things we were concerned about:
Toilet paper, sourdough
Weight gain, Tiger Joe
No parties, no dating,
Just short of no conjugating
Sweat pants, Karen maskless,
Monoliths, learning chess
BLM, Proud Boys,
Protests became background noise.
School is out, school’s online,
School’s back in, no, wait, it’s out.
Long beards, longer hair,
Puzzle pieces, cocaine bear
Jewish laser guns on fire,
Zoom parties, Zoom meetings,
White House briefings quite misleading,
Hand wash, disinfectant,
Stay away from bleach injectant,
New strains, vaccine resistant,
Still advised to social distance.
Air hugs, elbow bumps,
But pro sports should be just fine
Now we have three vaccines.
And we all know what that means
It’s happening sooner than we thought
And I’m not throwing away my shot.
The end of this ordeal is near. You can feel it. Yes, we still talk about the pandemic and the vaccines, but we also talk about the “cat lawyer” and that woman who looked behind her bathroom mirror and found an entire secret apartment *ahem* where someone was murdered *ahem*.
And we’re really really talking about cancel culture. I’m all for new topics, but anytime someone says cancel culture, I tune out. Either the thing being canceled is silly, or the people upset about it seem silly.
That being said, here are three things I’d love to see canceled.
1. Fax machines. We can send a spaceship from Earth to Mars, and yet when it comes to faxing a document, we hold our breath and cross our fingers.
2. Daylight Savings. Brought to you by 1916 Germany. (For reals. Look it up). Supposedly it’s better for the farmers, but I say, cows can’t tell time. And is it a really important practice when an entire state (Arizona) can just say, “Eh, nope.”
3. And finally …. Yes, Netflix, I am still watching. Stop asking me if I’m still watching. I WILL ALWAYS BE WATCHING!
Speaking of things that should be canceled, here are two poems that didn’t make the cut for this column.
Two 2021′s diverged in a yellow wood,
And I, I took the one with the vaccines and the masks,
And that had better make all the difference.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
No. Because it’s been a year.
President Biden talked about potential gatherings on the Fourth of July. So, just as much as we had to learn mask and disinfectant culture, we’ll have to relearn how to be together. I want to welcome spring and welcome friends into my home, and play poker without worrying about germs on cards, and speak through air rather than plexiglass, and have a backyard barbecue.
But first, I think I’ll hug my parents.
Brodi Ashton is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in the Salt Lake City area. She’s also an occasional columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune.