I’ll remember the two young girls who stood about 20 feet apart on the street, discovering that they were new neighbors and making plans to play at each other’s houses “after the virus.” They could not have known that the virus would persist all the way into a new calendar year, past the point where they each started going to different schools that effectively discouraged them from mixing, if not formally disallowing it.
I’ll remember the rashes on the faces of four-year-olds who, unused to the feeling of hot breath in a face mask, couldn’t help drooling. I’ll remember the pained faces of child-development therapists trying to direct physical therapy through an iPad screen.
And I’ll remember the unforgettable funeral of a beloved family patriarch. Adult men and women, weeping into their N95 masks, bitterly explaining their regret at having missed the last year of their father’s life in an effort to protect him. Their anger at restrictions that prevented them from attending to him in hospital and keeping on top of the doctors and nurses who were, it seemed to them, mistreating him. These mourners, their hands held tightly to their stomachs, bodies quaking for the need of a familial embrace that was not allowed by the funeral home, and that they would not have accepted without crushing guilt anyway.