Our upside-down world: The pandemic and a prompt


What were you doing last March? Celebrating a birthday with cake and company? Planning a trip? Enjoying walking to work as the earth woke up from winter? What did you expect that this year would bring?


And this year, in the pandemic year we could not have conceived of back then? This year, when we have given up predicting our own personal futures in favor of a numbers game of deaths and recoveries and coronavirus tests?


As the saddest song in Hamilton says, the world has indeed “turned upside down” in 2020. Early this year, I got wrapped up in Hamilton, listening to the soundtrack practically full time, reading a book about the creation and mounting of the production, Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, an intimate look at its creation. I was captured by the genius and talent and the dedication that took a weird-sounding idea and turned it into a world-rumbling work of art. I still wake up in the morning with the songs pulsing in my head.


I traveled to New York to see Hamilton at the end of February, when the news was that there were no cases of coronavirus there. Later reports set the number of cases on the day I flew home at 10,700. I look back at my cluelessness with alarm. I escaped from a danger I never would have allowed had I been aware.


Since then, I have been writing a bit almost every day about this upside-down world, trying to keep up with the facts, and what they mean in my own life. I’m finding the upside-down lens a productive one to look through.


Writing Prompt: The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world, and our daily lives, upside down. What does that look like today in yours?

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Carolyn B Healy

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