Hello, I am the Pandemic Elf. I am your trail guide through the Holiday Path winding through the Pandemic Forest. My job is to point out detours, sinkholes, and other dangers so they don't catch you unawares.
First up: MUSIC!
So I was hurtling down TX-130 (literally - the speed is 80, and judging by the vehicles around me, that's a minimum speed) to meet my best friend, the BFF-DRE, in La Grange, which is more or less the middle point between her house in Houston and mine in Austin. I turned on a Spotify playlist of songs from Firestone Christmas albums which some dear soul compiled to kind of jump-start my holiday spirit.
Oh my my my.
This is not 2019. Things are different this year.
As each song came on, I couldn't help but talk back to them, and rather sardonically:
♪ It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Yeah, dude, but this is 2020. Pretty low bar.
♪ Here We Come a Caroling ...
Ack! You're not wearing a mask! And singing in one of the biggest ways to spread covid! (slams door)
♪ City sidewalks, busy sidewalks ...
Nope. No, they're not. And if they are, they shouldn't be. Call your governor and demand lockdown.
So, forewarned is forearmed. When listening to the classic songs of yore (yore=every year before 2020), you have three choices:
1) Laugh out loud and mock those lyrics which SO do not work in this time of Pandemic;
2) Ignore the pandemic, and be transported to pre- or post-covid world;
Frankly, all the choices are good ones. I intend on a carefully orchestrated combination, depending on the song and what I'm feeling in any given moment.
Interesting note to my religious liberal friends. You know who you are. The ones reading ahead in the hymnal to see if you agree with the next line, ready to quibble over word choices:
The songs that still work this year are actually the religious ones. Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Little Town of Bethlehem. So listen away. Use your universal translator and translate Jesus or Baby or King into something that gives you hope, maybe Dr. Fauci or Stacey Abrams or Ron Klain or Cyrus Vance.
Let every heart prepare him room.
Or just enjoy the metaphor of a baby being born into a scary, unjust world who would grow up to talk about peace and healing people and loving your neighbor and overthrowing corrupt systems.