by Dawn Brown


I’ve always said if someone made a movie about my life that Jimmy Fallon would play my husband and Queen Latifa would play me. Why Queen Latifa? I don’t know really. She just always strikes me as a strong, independent woman, and I love her movies. Why Jimmy Fallon? Because I think he’s hilarious. And Jerry is one of the funniest people I know! If you haven’t watched any of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show tapings from the comfort of his own home, with his wife representing the entire camera crew and his daughters, Winnie and Franny, stealing the whole show, you’re really missing out. When Winnie and Franny ‘Boo’ during his Tonight Show monologue, your ears could not hear more joyous little giggles. And for some reason, those tiny soprano ‘Boos’ reminded me of another Fallon skit that he did on SNL…back when SNL was still funny. Remember the “Move” skit? This skit took place in an office environment where they were having a bit of technology trouble—we’ve all been there, right? Instead of helping his officemates figure out how to fix their computers, he simply barks out a demanding “Mooooove!”  I’m sure we’ve all met this tech guy before. I know the crew at the Community Foundation has because we’ve laughed about this skit before at the office. Let me take a moment as I fondly remember the Community Foundation office. It was back when we used to go places. Remember places? I miss places.

Anyway, I digress. While we don’t have a resident “Mooooove” techie at the Foundation, we do have Shelly. Shelly is an armchair techie who frequently suggests, “Have you tried turning your computer off and turning it on again?”. The response is usually a groan along with a 360-degree eye roll. But, doggone it, sometimes it works. So, that’s how I’m choosing to look at this whole COVID conundrum. It’s like the entire world wasn’t working well and Jimmy Fallon wasn’t around to demand that we “Mooooove” so he could take over the world’s keyboard. That’s when we did the only thing that we knew to do—we flipped the switch and turned everything off.

Since midnight on March 24th Hoosiers have had a state-ordered stay-at-home mandate. Most people have never experienced this kind of isolation before—at least not for this long. It hasn’t been easy. I’m sure 99% of us have cabin fever and are tired of staring at the same four walls or the same few people. The remaining 1%, don’t worry about them. They’re the true introverts, and they’ve been training for this their entire lives!

But, maybe, just maybe, we should think about this whole COVID closure like a worldwide computer glitch. Things just weren’t working as well as they should have been. So, we had to turn the whole world off and take a beat, so we could turn it back on again. You have to admit, the good ‘ole reboot method has worked many times before, so why not now?

It’s pretty cool to think about how the world’s performance might improve after our reboot. These are things I think about. When we flip the switch back on and everything starts back up again, what will be different? What will be working better? How will our perspectives have changed after experiencing that unexpected crash? These are a few things I’m hopeful for:

I hope we’ll all be sick and tired of face-to-screen communication and opt for real, 3-D person interaction more than ever. Maybe the hours spent on Facetime will take a dramatic dive and our hours spent with real faces in real-time will rise exponentially. Wouldn’t it be great if authentic relationships prevailed once again?

I hope that this adult version of being grounded will have us craving the great outdoors. Cookouts, campfires, and even competitive landscaping might not only prevail, but be appreciated more than they ever were pre-COVID. Wouldn’t it be great if we started to nurture nature once again?

I hope that we’ll lose weight! I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of eating the normal junk foods that have been lifelong guilty pleasures. I’ve had my fill of snacking—it’s turned this quarantine into borantine—yes, it’s that boring! I genuinely looking forward to Farmer’s Markets and garden-fresh veggies to carry me through the rest of the summer. Wouldn’t it be great if we only ate food in which we could pronounce all the ingredients?

I hope that this temporary time-out we’ve experienced without sports and concerts and movies will help us realize that those famous people really aren’t as important as we made them out to be. After all, who was really there when our neighbors were sick, needed food, or ran out of toilet paper? I know it was no consolation to me when I saw online posts from uber-famous millionaires like Jennifer Aniston telling me to enjoy my at-home time by doing dishes—she found it to be a relaxing way of washing her hands for 15 minutes. Oh, pullleeeeze! Wouldn’t it be great if we looked up to people who literally make the world a better place, with no regard for fame or fortune?

I hope we continue to see the church walls that fell down remain down as the church was able to go to all the people when and where they needed it. The church came to us. And we all discovered that those walls never really mattered anyway. Wouldn’t it be great if those walls stayed down?

I hope we learned to stop lying to ourselves. You know the one, the “if I only had more time.” It was, is, and will always be bogus. The truth is, we always make time for what we really want to do. That’s why you watched Tiger King on Netflix instead of reading those books on your nightstand. (Note:  Carole is no relation to ice cream mogul Baskin Robbins. What a relief!) Wouldn’t it be great if we started being more truthful—especially to ourselves?

I hope this pandemic has given us, ironically, 20/20 vision. It’s allowed us to see the best in people— and the worst in people. Did they help flatten the curve? Did they hoard toilet paper or hand sanitizer? Did they complain incessantly? When you’re stripped down to the bare minimum, as we have been, it’s easy to see yourself and others like we really are. Did you like what you saw? Wouldn’t it be great if we developed a new appreciation for all the things we once took for granted?

There’s a lot of hopes packed into this blog. Maybe that’s why we’ve had to leave the world’s computer off for so long before we’re allowed to turn it back on again. Perhaps, for the first and only time in our lives, we’re getting a do-over. We can restart and run better than ever before, or we can crash and burn. It’s our choice.  In the movie about my life, I really don’t want Queen Latifa yelling “Mooooove” and taking over your keyboard just because you didn’t make good choices.

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