Starbucks has removed the chairs from its tables. News anchors wear gloves to model good behavior. We saw the coronavirus coming for months yet our leaders did nothing, clinging to national mythologies and hubris. Now New York City has closed its schools, restaurants, bars, and theaters. No more gatherings of fifty people or more. I run through Central Park, passing joggers with balaclavas and kerchiefs wrapped around their faces like they’ve been throwing Molotov cocktails. Neighbors sit on separate benches, loudly describing their days. On First Avenue I saw a man wearing a World War I mustard gas mask and I could not tell if this was paranoia or parody.

Tonight two elderly men stood at opposite ends of the television screen, bickering and campaigning from a hygienic distance. This feels like the last presidential debate. Society might look very different on the other side of this pandemic. Maybe we’ll put on a better show.

Flying Saucer Attack – Distance

From Distance | Domino, 1994 | Spotify