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      WONDERING IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC by Thomas Putnam

      blognov31We're in the midst of a pandemic. I'm amazed when newscasters or those interviewed use these words as if we don't know this. Maybe they say them for effect or to somehow cue us in to the fact that they may have some new understanding or warning or angle. Yes, we're in the midst of a viral pandemic called COVID19, but we're also in the midst of a pandemic called HIV/AIDS.

      And we've been in the midst of that pandemic for a very long time. And many people have died. And it's not a “gay” disease, just as COVID is not a Chinese disease and the Influenza of 1918 was not a Spanish disease. No respecter of persons, any of these killers could enter anyone's body. I'm a firm believer that none of these were planned and aimed at killing certain people and/or that there is a purpose for the spread. 

      And I'm a firm believer that none of them are retribution for sin. 

      Today is World Aids Day. December 1. It began, worldwide in 1988; and we're still fighting HIV/AIDS.

      There's a play I have simply dismissed for consideration of production by Tony Kushner. I've dismissed the idea of producing it because it's just too big, too much, too out there. Tioga County just couldn't embrace it, I've thought. It's a large cast, so certainly in the near future it's not up for consideration. It's also in two parts, so it's very long. And it's maybe just too controversial. 

      I think of this play every time I read something about Kushner, who has written a number of plays. And I think of this play every December 1 when the pandemic that has been around a lot longer than COVID19 is remembered. ANGELS IN AMERICA. The first part is called “Millennium Approaches” and the second part is called “Perestroika.” Heavy stuff.

      I wonder if there will be plays written about the current pandemic. I wonder if HG could ever really consider producing both parts of this big work. We need angels in America. We desperately need to lay down our demand for rights and open our minds/hearts/hands in dialogue for the common good. Oh, geez, I think that last sentence is about as banal as “We're in the midst of a pandemic.”

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