The Calvary Isn’t Coming: Covid Edition

The Calvary Isn’t Coming: Covid Edition

Written By Dick Massimilian


Those of us who remember old Westerns recognize the movie cliché about the dusty, bedraggled guy who rides into town to inform the citizenry that the cavalry is not coming to the rescue. The townsfolk are on their own. His message: if they are going to get out of their current predicament, they will have to do it themselves.

Fast forward to the Wuhan virus world of wearing masks, washing our hands, social distancing et al. We’ve choked our economy, thrown millions of people out of work and closed our schools. For how long? Until the cavalry comes, in this case not on horseback, but in the form a vaccine?

Maybe a vaccine will be developed. But what if it isn’t?

Raise your hand if you want to continue living as you have been since March. (Keep your hand down if you are an elected or public official; your livelihood has not been affected and your life has not changed appreciably if at all.)

I remember visiting Israel pre-911, a small country the size of New Jersey surrounded by people committed to its destruction. At the time, I couldn’t imagine life with the very real, ever present threat of suicide bombers. I was taken aback at the grilling I received as a non-Jewish American traveling around the country and at the precautions taken to make sure I was not up to no good. (I was once detained by the authorities while they phoned my Israeli friends so my friends could vouch for me.) But I remember leaving inspired by the Israelis and the courage it takes to live life fully even in the face of undeniable risk.

Life is precious, short and inherently risky. Covid-19 may well be around for a while. Like it or not, it’s time to get on with our professional and personal lives. As Sally Bowles sings in the title song of Cabaret, “what good is sitting alone in your room?” None of us are getting any younger. And if the cavalry does arrive, so much the better.