Going the Distance

Few of us have made it to the end of 2020 without feeling a sense of loss, I suspect, even if we’re fortunate enough not have been directly visited by the most unspeakable of tragedies.

Tom Hanks in 'Cast Away' yelling at his made-up volleyball friend / 'Six Feet, Wilson!'

I’ve rarely strayed into social commentary here on the blog, preferring to keep it focused on fun stuff and critiques of pop-cultural pursuits. Nothing about the deep ideological divides and systemic racism that have gripped this country is amusing, nor is the novel coronavirus that’s claimed the lives of at least 1 in 1,000 Americans and nearly 2,000,000 people worldwide. But in the pandemic’s early days, especially, I was among those who tried to cope with (or reinforce) the recommended strategies for mitigation of transmission using humor. All deference and respect granted to those who just can’t laugh right now, I thought I’d share my efforts as a snapshot of where I/we found ourselves this year.

Twister Social-Distancing Edition / colored silhouettes of people far apart on massive Twister mat that stretches to horizon

Among the first disruptions for many of us was the Easter and Passover holiday season. My family — none of whom congregated outside their respective households — got a kick from my expansion of the ritual seder meal.

The Order of the Passover Seder Revised 2020 / 5780 with the washing of the hands added after every other step

Stay home, Peter Cottontail / We don't want our health to fail / Easter will still live on within your heart / Please be wise and quarantine / Next year you can make the scene / Until then please stay six feet apart!

Jesus standing beatifically in light outside tomb entrance / 'Hey folks so I'ma head back inside for a couple weeks' / #Quarantine #WashYourFeet #Blessed

I’ve written before about how, with parents reared in different faith traditions, I grew up searching for the hidden piece of matzah at Passover and chocolate eggs and bunnies at Easter, just as I enjoyed the glow of the candles in the Chanukah menorah alongside Christmas lights. The Rankin-Bass animated specials are perennial favorites, and I watched Here Comes Peter Cottontail for the first time in ages before mocking up the gag above. I felt some trepidation when sending out the one after that, but I trust most visitors to the blog will look upon my intentions charitably.

Headline 'Gov. Murphy Orders All NJ Residents to Stay at Home as COVID-19 Cases Soar / photo of waterfront / 'Trenton Quarantino'

The governors of both of my home states (born in a Philadelphia hospital to parents who lived in New Jersey, raised Down the Shore and then in the Philadelphia suburbs) came under fire as edicts intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus impinged on livelihoods and personal liberties. I was not alone in making this joke.

Little Sally Draper inside plastic bag from dry cleaners / 'Doesn't Seem So Crazy Now, Does It?'

Unless there’s a massive cosmic object due to impact Earth tomorrow that’s kept
itself entirely off our radar, 2020’s crises are guaranteed to continue into the new year. I’m keenly aware that a constant state of crisis is, despite the seeming contradiction, a very real thing indeed and no way to live. Still, I hope that the artificial relaunch of the calendar offers a psychic boost, providing us all even the slightest bit more humility, compassion, grace. and strength in the face of what we’re called upon to endure.

Related: ... from Hell See You Next B'ak'tun Help!


  1. Replies
    1. You are the absolute best. Seriously. ^ This gal is mostly responsible for the fact that my blog still exists, people.