Introduction by Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
On February 12, 2020, we posted an article, Law Firms and Bar Associations Must Plan Now for Coronavirus Outbreak, in the National Law Review. We wrote a similar article that same week, aimed at a general business audience, for Crain’s Cleveland Business. Friends, colleagues and clients thought we were incendiary, fear-mongering and hyperbolic.
One month later, just before St. Patrick’s Day, the world shut down.
One year ago, many of you found yourselves in long lines purchasing toilet paper and other staples. Many kissed their parents and grandparents for the last time, many became fulltime caregivers and home school teachers, many lost their jobs – and too many lost their lives.
If there is indeed a tunnel with a light at the very end, that light now appears to shine with increasing intensity. Just yesterday, my wife said that maybe it’s time we start to plan the family and friends Thanksgiving that we couldn’t do last November.
There are millions of stories about the sudden worldwide shutdown one year ago. After sifting through hundreds, I came across an article from this week’s Washington Post that captures the angst of the time, titled THE LAST SHOW – 27 entertainers on the disbelief and despair that took over when covid-19 shut down their world.
Maybe you were at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, taking in a matinee of “La Traviata” from a primo seat. Or packed into the 9:30 Club in Washington, clutching an IPA as the Drive-By Truckers blew through 30 songs in 2½ hours. Or you could have been at home, on the couch, tuning in to one of the Jimmys or Stephen Colbert and wondering why the in-studio crowd was so quiet.
It was a year ago this month that it all came apart.
The rumblings from China and Italy began rattling lives in the United States, crowding hospitals, rewiring businesses and clearing classrooms. The NBA would soon suspend its season, Broadway started shutting down and Tom Hanks, looking like he had signed up for a “Castaway” sequel, quarantined after being diagnosed in Australia. A mysterious novel coronavirus was fast becoming a global pandemic. Arts and culture would be among its many victims.
The sobering anniversary arrives as many of our great halls and museum galleries struggle to reopen, our rock heroes are relegated to online gigs, and we continue to wait anxiously for the great unknown of whenever it’s okay to resume live entertainment. This is the story of those last shows — staged and stopped just as the crisis was unfolding — as told by the artists, producers and organizers caught up in the largest cultural shutdown in modern history.
For the rest of this piece from the Washington Post, click here.