As the online music rocked, Missy partied like it was 2020.
By itself, the scene could have come from a hundred different nights. Missy, our disabled relative who’s physically in her 40s but much younger in heart and soul, has never met a dancing moment she didn’t like. Crank up her bedroom stereo or a YouTube video and she’ll move and sway as only she can, her smile beaming like a lighthouse.
But this night? Call it “Recent Retro.” For the first time in several months, her favorite group – the Face Vocal Band – was livestreaming a basement concert. No crowds, no driving, just the joy of good a cappella rock on the doorstep.
If you’re feeling a flashback, I get it. Two years ago, this was the music of lockdown. With masks everywhere and a vaccine nowhere in sight, live concerts became one of the biggest potential super-spreaders out there. So instead, musician after musician recorded quarantine videos and livestreamed concerts from their homes, keeping the music alive in the only way they could.
And in an off-balance world, they became a source of light. That not-so-simple act said “We care. We’re in this, too. And we want to make it better however we can.”
Since then, of course, many restrictions have eased or been put to rest entirely. People mix and mingle and even attend live concerts again. On the surface, things look – well, similar, if not the same.
But when we look closer, we know it’s not really over. Not yet.
Not while so many are still so vulnerable.
I’ve written here before about my wife Heather, a wonderful woman with WAY too many autoimmune conditions for one human being. Even with the COVID curve so much lower than it was, it’s still totaling about 400 to 500 deaths a day in the U.S. That’s way too much virus for her to safely go out unless she has to.
She’s not alone. There are many others – more than most realize – for whom the pandemic is still a reality and a threat. For whom “normal,” or even this current fun-house mirror of it, is still a long way away.
And so I want to thank Face and others like them. Because once again, a not-so-simple concert said something special.
And this time, the message is “We remember.”
Easy to say. Powerful to feel.
And even without an uploaded video and a really kickin’ backbeat, it’s a message all of us can and should echo.
We remember that not everybody can come out and play yet. That post-pandemic is still mid-pandemic for a lot of us.
We remember that caution and courtesy are not just artifacts of 2020, but remain vital for everyone. That it’s not just about ourselves, but about those around us.
And yes, we remember that even in the midst of stressful times, we can still bring light to someone else’s world by seeing them and reaching out to where they are.
When we remember, we lift all of us up. And together, we become stronger. Maybe even strong enough to carry all of us to a better place.
That’s a pandemic attitude worth keeping.
And when it finally helps us break through to the other side – that will truly be a moment to dance.
I’ll bring Missy.