The Virus Cross Country: a poetic chronicle (with codas)
In early March 2020, Jack started writing a poem about the pandemic, just as the lockdown started in the US. While practicing social distancing, we turned his poetic chronicle into a film as we travelled between our homes in Austin, TX, and Rockford, IL, and doom scrolled the COVID-19 news on the internet, social media, and our neighborhood apps. We thought Jack's poem was finished when Texas and Illinois opened back up in late May/early June 2020, but we soon realized we needed him to write a coda, and we continued to film during the Black Lives Matters protests, the resurgence of the virus, and the dangerous use of federal forces in American cities. We can’t foresee how all this will end, but we have already had to add more codas, taking our chronicle through the unthinkable Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol by right wing insurrectionists in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s failure to accept his loss in the 2020 Presidential election. More codas may still be in the offing, as new variants continue to emerge and Covid craziness takes even more bizarre forms. Whatever happens, we imagine the timeline we trace will be even more chilling to comprehend in retrospect.