Woo, it’s March! One month closer to warmer weather. But also whew…it’s March. It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year since this pandemic started. If this were March 2020, in just three days SXSW will be canceled. Six days from now my school will pause in-person instruction and in ten days they’ll cancel it for the rest of the semester. In a week and two days, I will go to my last show of 2020. It will be a tense affair, the opener canceling last minute and the looming pandemic scaring my friends (rightfully) off. I’ll regret it immediately and start isolating that weekend.
A pit will start to form in my stomach but I won’t realize it’s my last show of 2020 until two days later when we’re told that bars, restaurants, and venues will have to close. My entire life will migrate online for better or for worse, and I’ll spend the rest of my time in NYC in a basement in Queens trying to ignore the sound of ambulances passing by. Everything about my life will change in the span of just two weeks. Two weeks that will stretch into a rough, disruptive, and destructive year-and-counting.
I feel like it’s bad form to open on such a sour note, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t reflect on the one-year anniversary of the live music pause. Those two weeks don’t even feel that long ago, a side effect of a year so traumatic that it’ll linger long past its time. It’s surreal and a bit scary to realize how much time has passed. I don’t to get used to pandemic life. I don’t want to think of “celebrating” this anniversary again next year. I don’t want to forget that this isn’t normal, that we’re in this situation because our government is willing to let us die.