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Shrinking since the end of Hollywood, Americans are now in turmoil

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There will come a day, maybe even a day in the next few months, when Americans wake up, leave their homes, throw away their masks, and resume their lives. That day will end the Great Coronavirus Epidemic of 2020-21.

R is funny, isn’t it? Making a wish piously, but very unlikely.

Here is the problem with predicting the end of the epidemic. No one is sure what that ending will be like or when it will arrive, or even if we know it when we see it.

Will it be when most of the country is vaccinated? When do all schools meet safely? When hospital COVID beds are empty. When American ballparks are full for a summer baseball game. When Disneyland Reopens When wearing a mask again seems strange.

“I do not know, I see a certain ending,” said Erica Rhodes, a Los Angeles-based comedian who has found unique ways to perform through the epidemic. “I do not anticipate the moment when I will say, ‘Oh, everything is as it was.'”

There is no end to the type of coronavirus for Americans. It is a heavy pill to swallow, which for a long-trained nation – in some cases literally – expects clear – often optimistic – conclusions from sad sagas.

“Gaining light in the dark is a very American thing,” President Biden said this month. “In fact,” he said, “it could be the most American thing we do.”

The problem is that the real world often does not fit. Of course, the movies will be free to look like “Independence Day”, where a defeated American group led by Will Smith defeats the invading enemy. Real life? It’s more like the conclusion of The Sopranos, when everyone turns black, forever unsolvable, as Journey sings that “the film never ends, it goes on, it goes on and on.”


The American brand of epilogue. Borrowed from classic Greek stories, produced by Hollywood և Madison Avenue for four generations with industrial force, it looks like something. The story concludes with a certain formula, usually after some action, good boy heroism or the development of a great time character, usually at a certain, understandable moment.

Are we going for it with an epidemic? Almost certainly not. And the gradual nature of things sums things up, because they do not end until they are completed, and even then they may not be completed.

“Without that clarity, we’re not used to it,” said Phil John Onston, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter-director who worked on “Sink It Ralph” and “oot utopia.”

“I suppose everyone has made their own version of this ‘film,'” he says, offering his item. A boy leaves his house. He takes off his mask. He is sitting in a restaurant. And then time passes, this long montage և this guy sits և understands. “Oh, this is life. “Life is normal.”

All kinds of potential things that people today endure do not have clear endings. Climate change. “War on Terror” Stubborn racism, sexism, homophobia. These stories go backwards, but because they are not considered special “events”, they are often viewed differently.

Something like the epidemic, despite its protracted nature, falls into the bucket of the “event” of society, the media, it has to do with certain expectations. There is a discrete ending in them.

“We have this human tendency to construct the events of our lives into plot points. It helps us create a more perceptible, predictable world, ”says Caitlin Fitzgerald, PhD candidate at SANI Buffalo University, who studies the role of emotions in consuming stories.

“But as we know in the real world, recovery is not a linear process; it does not have a clear end,” he said. “These popular stories from popular LMs show that it happens in minutes. It affects our expectations of how things should end. And when those expectations are not met, it is difficult. “

Elite Parawati Harrigan, a research fellow at Fitzgerald and a visiting psychology assistant at Hamilton College, explored the same attitude as she did when she taught “epidemiology” last year.

“It simply came to our notice then. “And it can be confusing and oppressive,” he said. “If I can think that there is a bow, a project that can help me understand my path, it helps me find meaning in my every day.”

Navigation to the end

Over the past year, children have been the focus of such attention as the adults in their lives help them navigate the positive end of the epidemic without raising false hopes.

“I think finding out this part of the final game will be a challenge for adults. And it’s going to be a challenge not to build a mindset around children, ”said Chuck Herring, director of diversity, equity and inclusion in the South Fayette School district near Pittsburgh.

“People are constantly talking about when it ends, when it ‘returns to normal.’ I tell them it does not return to normal. At least, as many people think, “said Herring.

However, the concept of finality exists for a reason. People need signs in their lives to show that they have had experience, move from one stage to another, իմաստ in a sense, what they endure.

That is why Jennifer Talarico, who studies how people remember the events that happened to them personally, suggests that even if there is not a moment when the epidemic ends, it is still possible to find a way to mark it.

“I’m thinking about VE day or VJ day. This is obviously not the end of the war. it took longer. But we have these days when it was a big community holiday, ”said Talarico, a professor of psychology at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

“We build a relationship based on the common, although your story and my story are unique, they may not have shared in time. “Sharing history becomes the way we know each other,” he said. “So, ‘Where did you go for Remembrance Day or Pandemicpalooza or something?’ Years later, telling that story to the younger generation can be a community moment.

After all, managing the expectations of an epidemic conclusion is an exercise in procrastination – coping with everyday life without forgetting the better things. Remembering the lost? Anchor yourself in the details without losing the bigger plot at the same time. Creating meaning. A lot can be said about cinema.

We will leave you, then, with two quotes, two quotes by two half-different writers.

The first comes from the little storyteller “When the Epidemic Ends” (When the Epidemic Ends) written in Isaiah Mason’s 2020 children’s book. “I will be so happy when we get out of this crisis,” he said.

The second comes from science fiction writer Frank Herbert. “There is no real end,” he said. “It’s just a place where you stop the story.”

For the purpose of our story about the endings, which is here. Even when the history of the epidemic is turning.


Ted Anthony, director of digital innovation at The Associated Press, has been writing about American culture since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/anthonyted


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