My intent, at the outset, was to write a thoughtful blog about lessons learned in quarantine. Then I came upon this article in the New Yorker by Grace Henes. It caused me to put my own reflections on hold. Thanks, A.J. (and Grace) I think we would opt any day for your version of suspense over the current pandemic anxiety.
Plot synopsis: Man trapped in his apartment stares at neighbors through the window all day. No one bakes bread.
Quarantine takeaway: New hobbies can be a bad thing.
Plot synopsis: Woman leaves town even though she probably should have stayed home. World’s loneliest boy owns a B. & B. that’s not doing so hot right now. Imaginary friend has to do a lot of emotional heavy lifting.
Quarantine takeaway: Avoid non-essential businesses.
Plot synopsis: Man is in shock after sudden, unexpected events. Has bouts of extreme dizziness, such as those one might experience after watching six hours of true-crime reënactments. Is tasked with following a woman at a safe distance.
Quarantine takeaway: Don’t ignore your symptoms.
“Strangers on a Train”
Plot synopsis: Two men purposefully engage in a close conversation on public transportation, without a face mask in sight. It doesn’t work out well for either of them.
Quarantine takeaway: It’s not a great time to travel.
“Dial M for Murder”
Plot synopsis: Man worries about maintaining his comfortable life style and regular income. He reaches out to a friend he hasn’t spoken to in many years, then orders delivery.
Quarantine takeaway: Business is best conducted over the phone.
“North by Northwest”
Plot synopsis: Man eats at a restaurant, inadvertently risking his life in the process. He seeks assistance with his problems from a government official, with disappointing results. Everyone is having an identity crisis.
Quarantine takeaway: Planes = danger.
“The Man Who Knew Too Much”
Plot synopsis: Chaos at an international level; church services and concerts are disrupted as a result. Iconic song that’s meant to be comforting doesn’t really answer anyone’s questions.
Quarantine takeaway: There’s such a thing as being too informed.
Plot synopsis: Bad things are happening outside your house. Those bad things are birds. Even though you may not have personally seen the birds, or known someone who was attacked by the birds, be assured those birds are out there.
Quarantine takeaway: Fear the outdoors.