A World Without Joy

As we continue reading how the present five-month-old pandemic has affected our downtowns, our malls, our delicate restaurant industry, schools, courts, hospitals, music industry, sports industry, unemployment rates and homelessness, we take it in with just a few blinks.

As human beings, our survival mode is naturally heroic — like losing a limb or staring at one’s own open wound. It is a unique state of shock that allows us to run and continue to breathe under adversity. It seems like only yesterday we enjoyed so-called normal life.

Today we reference those experiences like phantom appendages. But they are gone. For now, sports fans who lived minute to minute with endless games and scores and stats have had it cut off. Before the pandemic, there would have been significant outcry at the loss of any these cultural necessities. But now, empty facilities populate huge parts of our cities with no pulse.

Movie theaters and stages are now vacant of emotion and wonder. Yet we still find ways to feel those sensations while the life we lived is getting further away in our collective rear view mirrors. As we approach 2021, the world will evolve quickly into new cultural paradigms, paradigms that will exclude so many of the joyous interactions we had with each other. Perhaps technology will fill the voids, perhaps our facile children will adapt to our post-pandemic societies. I feel we are in shock only to realize the significance of these losses after we have healed.

Frank Visconti


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