Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage. Bear with me, I am sick;
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see:
Write 'Lord have mercy on us' on those three.
They are infected; in their hearts it lies;
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes.
These lords are visited; you are not free,
For the Lord's tokens on you I do see.

Love's Labour's Lost- Act 5 Scene 2 as said by Berowne- Shakespeare



Leave it to Will to compare love to the plague.

Shakespeare lived through the plague, though he really doesn’t make it a main theme in his works. He does make some references, but for the most part, his work is plagueless. What do you think about his decision to limit discussion of the plague?

Personally, I don’t want to see, read or hear about our plague as a storyline. I am living through this: when I watch a movie or tv show or read a book, my goal is to escape the COVID storyline.

Newsflash: we all lived through this in one way or another. We are going to continue to live through this…While it is a sad fact of our daily lives, is it mentally healthy to keep reliving it over and over again?

Shakespeare, when he did speak of it, used the plague is a joking manner, or like the comparison to love I cited above. As stated by Steven Greenblatt in THE NEW YORKER- ” Plague constantly appears throughout Shakespeare’s works in the form of everyday exclamations. But this is a sign less of existential horror than of deep familiarity, the acceptance of plague as an inescapable feature of ordinary life.”

Is it wrong to make light of our current situation? Is it politically incorrect? Or is it just how some people need to get through this crisis?

What do you think about the future narratives and whether or not they should revolve around COVID?

Do you think it is insensitive to speak of it in a light manner?

How many of your daily conversations revolve around COVID?

I am trying to avoid COVID conversation as much as possible, even though it has wreaked havoc on my life, the life of my loved one’s and my mental health. I just can’t wrap my life around it any longer.

Do you think there should be a statute of limitations on COVID speak?

73 thoughts on “A Plague on all your houses

  1. I’m very happy TV shows are doing post-Covid storylines. At this point, I would probably stop watching a show if it was all about Covid. I’ve seen comedians joking about lockdown and such, I think we need to be able to joke about it to stay sane.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Neither do I. I’m a bit concerned that a couple of the thriller authors I read ended their latest books with the characters talking about possible lockdowns, I’m afraid their next books will be Covid stories.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so over this dictating our lives. The more you focus on something negative, the more it brings you down. Life is still to be lived and since we only get a limited amount of time, I would rather enjoy it than be steeped in fear, anxiety and negativity.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. But is Covid any different from any other global issue when it comes to prolonging the how’s and why’s of it’s influence? We are still be reminded of horrific events that came into our lives: wars, natural events, terrorism…years and years after those events ended. I don’t see Covid being any different. It has changed lives everywhere and it has become a part of who we are. Individuals have the choice as to how they respond, what they read, listen to or discuss and anyone who is drained by this topic should clearly step away and find avenues to minimize the influence. If history tells us anything, someday Covid will be replaced by the next global issue, and this conversation will come up again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right. However, I know that every time someone in my book club chooses a book about WWII my first thought oh not again…because really…is there an aspect that hasn’t been covered. You know the problem? You know how there’s the parenting philosophy that you don’t say no to kids because after awhile the word loses meaning? Yes the same thing. If you keep mentioning it we become immune to the word and then we lose empathy

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It all depends on who I’m talking to about our “plague.” When I talk to my parents, we talk about it a lot more since it places a lot more restrictions on them. It’s not all we talk about, but it’s clearly a bigger part of our conversation now more than it was before 2020.

    However, I’m with you on covid storylines in any type of media. I’m reading or watching television to get away from it all. Please don’t intrude my escapism. GAH.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hmmm. Don’t know. I think this is one of those questions, like many, that will change over time, and is very context dependent. With close friends, one conversation, at work another, with strangers, yet another. Really depends. Whereas COVID is always operating in the background, metaphorically and in reality, my conversations about the pandemic are far less than other conversations I have on a daily basis…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In my immediate family, the lockdowns are very much associated with political, business, and even medical misdoings that could affect our freedoms for years to come. Therefore, it is a topic that is always there. I am tired of it; I often wonder what we talked about pre-lockdown. It seems so far away. With my extended family, I rarely talk about it because there would be so much disagreement which none of us want to experience. I hope this does not become a focus in literature. I read to escape, to go to other “worlds,” and I would not choose for any of those excursions to center on a lockdown. On the other hand, I do think George Orwell’s works are unfortunately still timely and are a good warning which we, as a society, do not seem to be heeding.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. To be honest, I am trying to avoid the covid by line in my posts to provide an alternative for my audience.
    We have been innodated by pandemic paraphernalia… so, I have been attempting to provide a bit of relief through my stories 😊
    Thanks for this wonderful forum for discussion!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I am lucky I guess, that my worst experience with covid has not been the actual illness itself, but the tension and awkwardness it has created in my family. its driven a silent wedge between my brother and I. Instead of being confrontational I just withdraw from any discussion about covid.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Definitely not something to joke about. Tiring to talk about most definitely. I wouldn’t read a book or see a movie based on it. We’ve already had movies (Contagion, Outbreak) that are pretty close. Come to think of it, since we had those movies, why weren’t we more prepared? Ugg.

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  10. I think we’ll not be able to avoid these discussions for some time. If it isn’t about the lockdowns and deaths, it’s about how glad we are that life is limping back to normalcy.
    On a lighter note, here you are, and we are discussing covid! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny note…when I recently read that Shakespeare quote and jotted it down as a blog idea, my thought was to talk about how love can be like a sickness….but when I went to write the post, I wasn’t feeling my original idea

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Shakespeare was a man of his times as you are a woman of your times. I don’t recall if there was a cure or a treatment for the plague way back when, though I’m pretty sure it also lead people to isolating and masking up as preventative measures. However, like love, I’d also guess that once you were exposed you were just stuck with it!
        What I love about Shakespeare and many other writers of his timeless ilk, is that many of their works, and of course their best lines, may have been created in the limited space of their times and experiences but somehow still are applicable in other times, like ours. That’s part of what makes a work a classic in my view.
        Like everyone else I’m sick of talking about Covid mostly because, like most issues in the US today, it’s become so politicized and divisive that no matter what happens as far as treatments and cures and preventatives, most of us have already made up our minds about how we’ll act and react to its impacts on our daily lives. For the time being and the foreseeable future that will determine our new normal especially given how it is dealt with so differently in different places.
        I’m getting ready to get on a plane for the first time since it all started and am a bit anxious about getting through all the precautions but even more so about the behaviors of other people doing the same! At least it’s a short flight so fingers crossed.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah it should go the way side like politics and religion. In the spring I endured dinner conversation with someone I didn’t know at a party I attended who non stop for an hour droned on and on about how depressing Covid is. Yeah. I don’t want to read, watch or listen to anything Covid related anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Interesting topic. I don’t see Covid as much of a conversational focus here where I live now that most people are vaccinated, other than if it interferes with something they want to do. I myself don’t worry about it as much as I did pre-vaccine, but then I stopped watching the nightly news months ago. I haven’t seen any weaving of COVID into literature or books I’ve read recently, other than I did get World War C – Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s new book out of the library, but if it proves boring then I won’t read it. I had ordered it eons ago, but wonder now how it will sell as we seem to be past the peak of the pandemic and interest has waned. Incidentally, I always thought that phrase in Romeo and Juliet was “a pox on both your houses” referring to smallpox, but according to Google it is a plague on both your houses?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think it really depends on who you are and what your personal circumstances are. For some, there is a need to just having something different to focus on because there is only so much “survival mode” that one person can endure before something breaks. For them, the lack of conversation or even joking is what they need. You see similar behavior in those that are often first responders to horrible situations where that gallows humor kind of thing is necessary for them to continue to do their jobs. There are others, though, that are dealing with so much because of Covid19 that they either need to see that they are not alone through stories with Covid19 as the topic or for people to not laugh off their struggles, pain, suffering, and anger. There are still medical professionals that are struggling because those in their community are laughing it off or refusing to have honest conversations about the virus. There are those that have lost loved ones that could not tolerate listening to someone joking about it. The same goes for those who are suffering from long term effects of having contracted Covid19 themselves. Because there are so many different attitudes about this, it is one of those things that being aware of others is critical in how you interact.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I read that more than 120 million people suffered from mental illness because of the lockdowns. That’s the fallout that health professionals didn’t see coming. Especially for the youth. I’m not sure if that number is worldwide or in the US. My daughter was one of those who suffered. Now we have difficulties talking about COVID because I see how the lockdowns and getting laid off affected her. She’s militant about mask wearing, vaccines, etc. because she lives in the Bay Area and you can’t go into a restaurant without showing your vaccine card there. She criticizes where we live for not having mandates. But we do have a high vaccination rate because most people use common sense. COVID has become a sticky issue between us.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The timing of your post ties into my lack of interest in the news. I’m done with the pandemic and politics. I’m just over people freaking out. I think that Shakespeare once again knew his audience and understood that we need some escapism.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hate, hate, hate watching a show that references or is centered on COVID. I watch very little TV, so when I do, I don’t wanna see people in masks and getting a vaccine.

    In terms of my personal life, COVID comes up very little, like almost not at all.

    However, I have been mulling a blog post about how we’re faring here in Florida. It’s called Florida is Batsh*t. I have it all sorted out in my brain. I just need to write it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Life imitates art. It always has. I don’t think you can dictate what motivates a creative artist to paint, write, create a symphony etc. Anything in nature becomes their muse.
    You can’t tell a grief stricken widow when to stop mourning. And you can’t tell another person when it’s time to stop discussing covid, or the death of a family member. All in the time it’s necessary to process a trauma. There’s no set time limit. So it will take whatever time is necessary. And writers tend to write about what’s happening in the world. Or what affects their world.

    I might be ready to personally move on from covid but apparently South Florida isn’t! Why? Because based on the amount of people still not vaccinated down here. I’d say people still haven’t gotten the message. In fact, I had two friends I went to college with pass away from covid just last week. One was vaccinated and one wasn’t. So like it or not, South Florida is still a hot mess of ignorant germs. I’m saying until Florida’s Governor stops interfering in health issues we apparently need to continue to discuss covid. I can’t speak for other parts of this country but South Florida continues to use bad judgement when it comes to health education. So I have no problem with people usually good judgement. I can’t move on until my community starts behaving better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I don’t move on my mental health will not survive. Death is unfair, no matter how you look at it. A good friend of ours had a heart attack yesterday. Good shape, took care of himself, etc. things are very precarious right now, and I feel for his wife and kids, his parents and his sister. Death is never welcome whatever the cause, nor is illness. I went to visit my Dad in rehab yesterday. I have no choice but to keep moving forward, no matter what’s around me. There’s no timeline for grief, ever. But…spiraling downward shouldn’t be an option either

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ultimately You have to do what’s good for you. Today I’m going to to be in chemo all day and will spend the next two weeks vomiting and being sick. I don’t have time to give up. I just keep going. No other choice. So I just keep going like the energizer. I’ve worked way to hard to stay alive to just say I’m over covid or anything else. . Just like I’ve fought way to hard to say I’m over cancer. I can’t take down my guard for a second. Not one second. Not if I want to live. You do you. Everyone will do who they are. I don’t have the luxury to take a break from anything . It sucks, but I’ve got to be chemo free for a month before I can even get my booster vaccine. So I’ll do whatever is necessary. Just a different way of looking at life. I don’t get a do over. I can’t run away from cancer any more than I can hide from covid. It puts things in perspective. No judgement. But that’s how I have to live life these days.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s my point. We have to keep going even if it sucks. You’re not wallowing. You are getting up every day and doing what you need to survive. You are strong. You are the strongest person I know. You see that it sucks and yet you keep going. You keep moving forward. You are a star

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Or obsessing to the point where we let everything else be forgotten. If someone is hyper focused on work, they’re relationship, house, health etc are going to fall apart because they are concentrating on one thing. If all you do is wash your hands, stay away from people wnd talk about COVID, how’s everything else in your life going?

      Liked by 2 people

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