Ocean Vuong’s Brief But Spectacular take on grief and language
A humble opinion on a successful post-pandemic world
Judy Woodruff: One thing, among many, that COVID has taught us is how we need recalibrate our expectations and our imaginations.
Tonight, author Kelly Corrigan shares her Humble Opinion and projects what it will be like when a corner is turned.
Kelly Corrigan: Sometimes, when I feel outmatched by the thing in front of me, I do a little mental exercise.
I tell myself the story of what happened, as if it's over and I nailed it.
This morning, I waited for 54 minutes to check out from the Safeway. The woman behind me, whose hair and makeup was perfect, had seven bottles of Martini & Rossi Vermouth. That's it.
And the guy in front of her had a full-face double ventilator gas mask. And I felt outmatched by the thing in front of me.
So, right there, I told myself the story of the 2020 pandemic and how we nailed it.
My success fantasy went like this. At first, it was awful, nothing but bad news on top of bad news. But then we rose up. We made soups and stews for old people and dropped them off, so they felt included and secure and nourished.
We read books to children over the Internet. We stepped outside at the end of the day and played music and clapped, so that each of us knew we were not alone.
We sent pizzas and Chinese food to E.R.s to sustain both our hospitals and our restaurants. We called old friends and told them things we'd forgotten to say: I miss you. I still think of you. Remember that time?
We turned up, all of us, on our screens to keep businesses afloat. And in so doing, we're exposed to the more tender elements of our colleagues' lives. Pets and children were now, to our mutual benefit, in the frame.
People figured out they don't need fancy equipment to exercise. We stopped flying around and jumping in cars for no reason. Everyone planted things they could eat. We played cards with our families. We had long conversations.
We identified what kind of learning can be delivered online. We discovered that teaching is the most complex, high-impact profession known to man, and we started compensating our teachers fairly for their irreplaceable work.
Everyone voted after coronavirus. Kids who lived through the virus valued science above all. They became researchers and doctors, kicking off the greatest period of world positive discovery and innovation the planet has ever seen.
We came, finally and forever, to appreciate the profound fact of our shared humanity and relish the full force of our love for one another.
Judy Woodruff: Thank you, Kelly Corrigan.
And wouldn't it be wonderful if all of that came true?
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