Can we think now about anything other than pandemic graphs, empty shelves, school closures, postponed events, and our global state of emergency? While some remain at various stages of denial, and others have high fevers of existential panic, most of us are at home trying to figure out how we can homeschool our kids, do our jobs, avoid contagion, and endure an uncertain sentence of an unexpected internment.
In many conversations we hear that we are in “uncharted water.” This is true in the sense that most of us have never experienced this sort of disorienting disruption to everyday life. We can read the histories of the 1918 or 1957 pandemics, but they don’t touch our experience. We’ve been knocked off the tracks of our daily habits, and we’re all unsettled. Everything that seemed solid suddenly seems shaky. The only thing certain now is that we must talk about the Coronavirus.