Dear Virus, Can We Talk?


Dear Virus,


Can we talk? Lean in a bit closer, please. I can’t hear you from six feet away. I’m wearing this ridiculous mask, which shouldn’t make it harder for me to hear, but somehow it does. Do you like the mask? It’s cute, right? Little sushi riding bicycles. My friend gave it to me, and another friend made it. So the giving friend is like a mask middleman. Strange times.


So tell me… where do you come from? What are your hobbies? I mean, aside from infecting people and ruining lives? Gah! I’m coming off as bitter, and I don’t want you to hate me, Virus. I don’t want to be super close friends either. Maybe something in between? Maybe like those friends you have that are friends in quotation marks, “friends” on social media or the ones you see that you know from somewhere you just can’t put your finger on…those people you see in the grocery store and you nod to each other while trying to spy what’s in their shopping carts. Carrots and bags of greens? She’s so healthy. Poptarts and red wine? Obviously off the diet. We make assumptions about people from the tiniest little vantage point of self-delusion. Maybe we see ourselves in them. I know I do.


As I was saying, Virus, you know about judgement and assumptions, so I think you might be an anarchist. You’re terrible, you know, but I admire that you are laying things bare. Should I even say that? My fingers tremble just writing those words because I don’t want to tempt fate. You scare me, Virus. I worry about my family and my friends and yes, even myself. But wow. What I do admire is that you’re calling people on their shit. You aren’t about the exit polls or popularity or party divide. You don’t give a rip about cover up attempts or walking back statements. You’re a virus of action, and that frightens me to death.


Virus, I worry about the vulnerable among us. I worry about people who don’t have access to good medical care. I worry about people in poverty who can’t afford to stay at home, whose very job puts them at risk. I worry about older people in nursing homes. I worry about people with weak immune systems. I worry about Darwin and what he might have to say about all this, were he here. I worry for all of us because I want love to see us through. I want love and rose quartz crystals. And I might want to sage the planet right now, if that’s okay with you.


--P

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