It feels like we’ve shifted from uncertainty and optimism (“maybe we won’t have to cancel our organization’s meeting this year”) to a resigned recognition that we are in this for the long haul. This is particularly true for those of us based in the US, where we have catastrophically mismanaged our approach to the pandemic. We are now a quarantined nation, rightfully blocked from travel to much of the world. Where the 4th of July is usually a time for barbecues and fireworks, anyone with the slightest awareness of public health will spend the day in a much quieter and lonelier manner.
In past “out of office” notices for the holiday, my thoughts have often been drawn to one of my favorite bands, X, not only because of their great song “4th of July” but also because to me they are the quintessential American rock band, drawing on musical tradition from Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie through the Ramones. Rather than reposting “4th of July” again, this year I’m offering up “The New World”, which makes even more sense now than it did during its Reagan-era release. Hang in there, stay safe, and we’ll see you on Monday.