Don’t Hold Your Breath

“Did you get your invitation to the Cloudscape Conference in Austin?” Brad asked Jim.

“Yeah, but I don’t think I’m going to attend this year,” Jim answered.

“Why not? You always attend,” Brad said. “And last year’s conference was held over Zoom due to COVID. This year’s conference will be live again, and I heard it’s going to be quite the spectacle.”

“Maybe so,” Jim said, “but I don’t yet feel comfortable getting on a plane and being inside a convention center crowded with people, especially in Texas where all those assholes are refusing to get vaccinated or even to wear face masks.”

“I hear you, buddy,” Brad said, “but the conference isn’t until December and maybe by then, the virus will be gone.”

“Now you’re sounding like Trump back in early 2020 when he claimed the virus would miraculously disappear,” Jim said.

“Whatever,” Brad said. “But you have until early November to register, so we should keep checking. Maybe by then the virus will actually dissipate and you’ll be able to go.”

Jim shook his head. “Don’t hold your breath, my friend.”

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (cloudscape), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (attend), Word of the Day Challenge (spectacle), The Daily Spur (comfortable), and My Vivid Blog (check).

MLMM Photo Challenge — The Last Picture Show

I remember movie theaters. Do you? They were auditoriums where people used to gather to see movies. They were very popular in the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty-first century. But in 2020 a deadly virus infected millions of people around the globe and, in order to combat the virus, people were ordered to stay at home.

Unfortunately, and despite the accelerated development of vaccines, the virus kept mutating and the variants eventually rendered the vaccines ineffective. That, in combination with the partisan politicization around methods to stop the virus’ spread, led to mass infections and millions of deaths.

Eventually, places like movie theaters and other public sites, remained empty, as the survivors avoided gathering in indoor venues with others in order to minimize their chances of getting infected by the highly contagious and lethal virus.

My grandfather, before he passed, told me of the tale when, in front of just a handful of individuals wearing their hazmat suits, the last remaining movie theater in the country fell before the wrecking ball. He took this photo just before the theater was demolished.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Jonny Joo, One Big Photo.

Friday Fictioneers — The Service

“Where is everyone?” John asked the pastor. “I’ve got everything ready. The printed programs are in the pews and on the chairs, the hymnals are placed in the seat backs. I’ve put bottled water strategically around the chapel. The service is scheduled to start in five minutes, but no one is here. What’s going on?”

“John, didn’t you get my email?” The pastor asked.

“I don’t recall seeing it,” John said.

“I see,” the pastor said. “The bishop felt that, given these new, more highly transmittable strains of the virus, we should resume virtual services again until further notice.”

(99 words)

Written for the Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Marie Gail Stratford.

To Mask or Not to Mask

Rory, A Guy Called Bloke, asked today:

1] Are you currently wearing face masks when you go out into public wherever you are in the world?

Before I answer this questions, Rory wrote, “…the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, or better known as those born between the years of 1946 – 1964, are ‘appalled’ at the prospect of wearing a mask despite it protecting others and themselves.”

I’m a Baby Boomer and, yes, I wear a mask whenever I leave my home. And quite honestly, almost everyone of my generation that I personally know, anyway, also wears a mask when they go anywhere because, as older folks, we happen to fall into a higher risk group than those who are younger than us. In fact, I’ve found that age is not as much of a critical factor in terms of mask wearing as political ideology is. It’s more likely that Republicans (conservatives) of all ages in the U.S. are the ones who seem appalled at the notion of wearing face masks.

2] What type of masks (as in practical or stylish) are you wearing?

Very practical. Nothing stylish about the masks I wear.81A6E190-B316-4D98-BA68-68273250FC963] How do you feel about the wearing of masks? Do you see it as a protection or an infringement on your civil rights?

Wearing face masks helps to protect me and helps to protect others that I may come in contact with. Wearing a mask is the safe and sensible thing to do in the face (no pun intended) of a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus. Anyone who believes wearing a face mask is an infringement on their civil rights is a selfish, ignorant asshole. Period. Full stop. End of story.

Weekend Writing Prompt — Time to Go Gallivanting

344EDBC3-1CB6-412A-9D34-569DCCFA14EAHow much pain and misery

Can one virus inflict?

I’m tired of feeling pensive.

I’m tired of being cloistered inside of my house.

I’m tired of the isolation.

Maybe there’s a flicker of hope.

It’s finally summer!

It’s time to go wild.

It’s time to gallivant!

(46 words)

Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “Gallivant.”6F9A6778-4870-4F44-89BA-1BB440B77D8BAlso for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (inflict), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pensive), Ragtag Daily Prompt (cloistered), Word of the Day Challenge (flicker), Jibber Jabber (summer), and The Daily Spur (wild).