2020 was a remarkable year for so many of us. A year ago, we thought we were headed into a much- needed two-week break, where we could rest and regroup, possibly work from home for a few weeks, while our kids got an extended spring break. We naively thought two weeks was long enough to fix our little “virus” situation. We were wrong. As we have eclipsed a full year of our new reality, many of us have also rediscovered our love of television. I imagine the same may be true for you and yours. As I’ve immersed myself in my newfound love of old sitcoms, I have asked myself a very important question: How would our favorite TV characters react during this pandemic?

We begin with The Office and the World’s Best Boss, Michael Scott. Michael is a dichotomy, always willing to help someone in need as long as it serves him. At the beginning of this pandemic, Michael would have booked it to the nearest tropical location, his sun-glistened body basking in the rays, convinced he fooled everyone by escaping work from home life. Upon his return he would sprint to the nearest store and make a show of buying all the best masks, although he will only wear the mask below his nose. The rest of the office team would find that they actually have a better relationship with each other over Zoom.

During our time at home my daughter and I have watched every season of New Girl, and we loved and simultaneously hated Jess. She is a seamstress, a craftswoman and a caring, giving person. At this point in the quarantine, she would have given Cece, Nick, Winston and Schmidt handcrafted face masks that fit their personalities and made them promise to wear them, even during sex. She would have cried for her own grief, cried for her roommates’ inability to resume their lives. But most importantly she would have cried from guilt because she was not able to do enough for her community, even though she spends her days volunteering for any and all COVID relief organizations. While Cece is trying to calm Jess down, Schmidt, Winston and Miller would have concocted a get rich scheme to profit from the pandemic, face masks and everyone working from home; they will not succeed.

We have now reached my favorite TV show of all time, The Golden Girls. I feel as if I know these ladies better than I know some members of my family. Coronavirus would hit these ladies like a brick. Blanche’s social life would shrivel up like a lonely grape on a vine. She would diligently wear her mask, even though no one could see her devastating beauty. Blanche would swear to the heavens that she was being compliant with the 6-feet apart rule; she would try to convince Dorothy, Rose and Sophia that she has never had a strange man in her bedroom despite evidence suggesting otherwise. Dorothy would rebuke Blanche’s statements and hit her with the facts that there have indeed been strange men in Blanche’s room, all while wearing a full hazmat suit because she has low immunity and is susceptible to getting extra sick. 

Rose, despite her flighty nature, would rally the girls together, making them sing kumbaya and engage in a group hug. Rose would also have been prepared for this virus the whole time she has lived there, ready to dole out her supplies of bleach wipes and extra face masks. Sophia would spend her days regaling the girls with the last time she was exposed to a pandemic…The Spanish Flu. She would also mention that in Sicily they didn’t have the fancy masks of today; they had to skin a goat and use its hide as protection, all types of protection. 

As we remain hopeful for an end to this pandemic, let us remember the characters that only exist in our minds, hearts and on our television and computer screens. When we begin heading back to the brick-and-mortar world, let’s remember to pay homage to the silly and irreverent things in our lives. Let us stay safe and remember that this too shall pass.

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The Future of Connection for Women

Tanisha Wallace Porath

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