No Fretting Over The Ides of March

Anniversaries by and large bring celebrations: birthdays, wedding dates, milestones.

But this year, March brings the anniversary of when our entire county went into lockdown from the still raging Covid-19 pandemic. The sometimes deadly virus changed our American way of life.

We went from an economic high, on-the-go nation to shuttered businesses, high unemployment, and body counts. The unreality of being sequestered over not weeks but months and months depressed our society. We stayed connected through our electronic devices for news, groceries, facetiming relatives and friends, and Zoom meetings and school. We binge-watched TV.

What a difference a year makes! Kinda, sorta.

In record time, vaccines have been developed, and we continue to inoculate the population. While some theaters, restaurants, churches, and businesses have had “soft” openings with a fraction of full capacity, we continue to Zoom and post on social media.

We still binge watch TV. Spring Break is a muted affair since we’ve been on break for a year now, and our phones are always in our faces.

But “beware the Ides of March.” This line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was a warning to Caesar of the lethal plots against him. In today’s vernacular, it just means a bad omen. So we fret over virus mutations and national disunity. Vague disorientation and unease persist.

Yet with the spring rain comes renewal and hope. For now, we plant our gardens, maybe plan a party or that eventual trip, and try to rekindle our imaginations with something that doesn’t involve technology.

Maybe by this time next year, this pandemic will be in the rearview mirror. Hopefully, one day my grandchildren will be sharing their surreal stories of childhood with their incredulous carefree children.

What we could use is some national levity. No, not the kids making fortunes on Gamestop and churning the stock market, or not just another TV show, another gaming app, or wittier facemasks.

The Bernie mittens and mask meme has made the rounds. Next? Those cleverer than I need something to make us smile and chuckle that doesn’t “dis” anybody. Remember pet rocks, mood rings, Psy’s dancing Gangnam Style, the ice bucket challenge, doing the Wave or Baby Shark at sporting events, and rollerblades?

For me, it’s been watching my puppy, Rascal, run around with abandon over just feeling alive. It’s the joy of toddlers. Now, if we could clone it for the grown-ups.

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Len Bourland

The views expressed by columnist Len Bourland are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of People Newspapers. Email Len at

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