by Lorrie Moore published in The New Yorker
Read original on The New Yorker's website
A woman communicates with her elderly father thrug...Show description
Posted 907 days ago
On one hand I was glad to read a story about the current global pandemic since it is so applicable to our daily lives, but on the other hand, it felt odd to read a fiction about it when there are so many real life stories out there. That being said, sometimes bringing something into fiction makes us think about it in a different way, and can often lead us to make a more personal connection with stories that may seem like numbers or statistics coming straight from the news.
Moore balances between dark and silly humor in this story. The narrator jokes about hydroxychloroquine by saying it "had been endorsed by Washington, which had invented the undrained drained swamp" and then switches to a deeper thought process.
I had heard this story from my dad on several occasions in my childhood and wondered about its veracity every time, though never out loud. Now to watch him sending these utterances into the light of the screen was like seeing and old man burn all his poetry in a fire.
Many of our reactions to the current state of affairs turn towards humor as a way to shrug off our difficulties. The narrator is no different here. This feeling comes up as her father begins to have hallucinations while they are on the call.
"I can't watch this. It's unbearable." Did she no longer know what was bearable and what was unbearable? Well, no one knew anymore.
All in all, I felt that Moore's story gave us an insight into what must be going through the heads of people whose relatives have succumbed to COVID-19. I appreciate the effort at trying to convey this. The ending seemed over-the-top for me, with the storm (I think this alludes to a hurricaine that happened earlier this year?). Even though it does feel out of place, people have been caught in the middle of those two things though.