I’ve been a Cher fan my entire life, and seeing her in concert has been on my bucket list. When I learned of her Madison performance on April 9th, the week my daughter would be visiting from California, I asked my other daughter to join us and joyously bought three tickets. I anticipated the special night. Our concert plans are now on hold because of the coronavirus. Our inconvenience is minuscule compared to how the coronavirus is affecting others.
You’ve had to change plans because of the pandemic, too, I’m sure. We watch frighten-ing rising statistics on the death rate. Governor Evers and President Trump have declared a health emergency. Every hour we learn of new closings and cancellations. Schools are extend-ing spring breaks or temporarily closing. University students need to vacate dorms, uncertain when they’ll return. Sports enthusiasts are disappointed by canceled events. Travelers try to get refunds on hotels and airfare or worse yet, can’t return home. Courtrooms have closed their doors. UK citizens over 70 years of age are encouraged to self-quarantine.
If we could turn back time, to use a line from one of Cher’s hits, we surely would have concentrated on preventing this. The coronavirus is like Cher’s Dark Lady playing her black magic, stirring her witchy brew. The Dark Lady has changed our lives in monumental ways. We’re seeing genuine fear of death. We worry that there won’t be enough hospital beds or medical equipment such as ventilators. Panic is causing hoarding of supplies and medicines. I over-heard a Walmart clerk tell a desperate woman they were out of hand sanitizer. Anxious people are letting fear overwhelm their day.
The Dark Lady has brought us to our knees. She’s weakening our finances and is steal-ing the time and efforts needed for other serious issues. She’s changing our lives in small, subtle ways, too. While vacationing, I’d met an exuberant, friendly woman through playing pickleball. She was returning home and knowing it would be a year before we saw one another again, she opened her arms for a hug. I instinctively moved in close and hugged her. People around us frowned, and one took a step back as if fearful he’d catch something. We’re all on alert now to keep our distance from people especially if we hear them coughing or sneezing. You might have gone to “elbow bumping” or a “social bow” instead of shaking hands.
The social distancing is difficult. Humans are, by nature, gregarious and I hate the thought of being shut off from others. Maybe you’ve seen the powerful video of a quarantined Italian community who managed to connect with one another by standing on their balconies. They performed a traditional folk song of their homeland, Siena. It’s heartwarming to hear their harmonious voices blending and encircling the city streets. It gives me hope that we’ll defeat the Dark Lady. It makes me want to adjust a line from one of my favorite Cher songs, Believe, and belt it out for all the world to hear.
“I know that we’ll get through this,
“Cause I know that we are strong.”