Pandemic Diary: Easter has been cancelled; apologies

It’s Good Friday, and Easter has been cancelled.

That’s right, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, enbies of all ages—2020 is so shitty, Jesus is staying dead this year. The Resurrection has been cancelled. I repeat, the Resurrection…

Flora: It’s like you want to go to all the hells.

No, no. I want to live, mostly, I promise, on this messed up Earth. A part of me, by the way, is utterly enjoying this unexpected Rapture. The people in my city, unable to distinguish between safety directives issued for New York City, Rome and London from those issued for our piece of spacious Viking Hell, are locked down in their houses, and the rest of us get to roam the empty streets—six feet apart from strangers. At least when the sun comes out in Viking Hell, which happened yesterday. Bliss.

Yes, I’m rambling, and trying to distract you from my blasphemy. The Resurrection is cancelled, we’re living in the time of the Rapture—and we’ve all been left behind and here comes the first major Christian holiday during the time of corona—I’m not counting the infectious Florida Spring Break—how’s that going to go?

Passover began a couple of days ago, and my Persian friends celebrated Nowruz—the Persian New Year and celebration of spring, rebirth, renewal—at Equinox—at the height of the outbreak of the pandemic in Iran—and Ramadan this year starts, I think, on April 24—but North America still cycles around the Christian calendar holy days, and so, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, long weekend, and, my kids are about to have their first-ever Easter without an Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma’s.

First world whine, rich people “suffering” in the time of the pandemic. You don’t have to say it—the unspeakable privilege of every single one of our complaints smacks me upside the face before I even say it. I will never complain about my comparative poverty again. The global economy is disintegrating around me, and I have food security, house security, and a job.


And my kids aren’t going to get their Easter Egg Hunt with Grandma and boo-hoo—you know what? That still fucking sucks.

It sucks.

And it’s ok to be upset about it.

Holy days are peculiar times for atheists, recovering (insert the religion of our childhood here), and secular cynical types. They have no intrinsic meaning—while I’m fairly sure the Crucifixion is fact, the Resurrection and the edifice built on it, not so much—but. Family, food, ritual, tradition.

The Easter Egg Hunt.

I don’t remember the Easter Egg Hunt being a part of my childhood, but then, I grew up in a time and places where neither eggs nor chocolate were often available never mind plentiful and I’m pretty sure chocolate eggs weren’t even a thing. I do remember sugar lambs of God, though, and, as I write, I wonder if I should get them for my kids this year but no, it’s too late, the Polish butcher, even if still allowed to operate, will not be open today because, Good Friday, a holy day.

But my mom organized Cinder’s first Easter Egg Hunt when he was 10 months old and—he’ll be 18 this May—and he hasn’t missed one yet. Now, six grandchildren—two of them giant teenagers—scatter around her house and garden, looking for the dozens and dozens of chocolate eggs she spends the morning secreting away. There’s always a handful of highly prized Kinder eggs among them, and Grandma goes all Communist with these, telling the grandkids that there are three—or six—Kinder eggs each, and to make sure the littlest grandkids get their fair share.

Most prized of all—especially by the teenagers—are the plastic eggs filled with loonies…

No Easter Egg Hunt in Grandma’s garden this year. No Easter Egg Hunt with their neighbours in the Common.

Tomorrow, I will boil a dozen eggs and, after they cool, we will paint them. And I will teach them, as I do each year, how to say, “Wesołego Jajka,” and they will laugh and laugh at the “Happy Egg” holiday greeting. And on Sunday morning, Sean will hide all the chocolate eggs he bought for them around our small townhouse, and Ender will look for them all asking half a dozen times if not more why we’re not going Easter at Grandma’s house this year, and Cinder and Flora will forget that they are teenagers and look for eggs too. And we will eat a decadent breakfast, and then maybe go for a walk on the car-free street now converted for ped-use.

Play a board game.

It will be a good day, a pleasant family day.

But there will be no Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma’s and so, Resurrection is cancelled.

Sorry, Jesus.