I woke up late this morning, thinking only of my curious failure to arise at the usual 6 am or thereabouts. A minute or two later I was in front of the sink, a bit foggy and no coffee yet.

And then it hit me. A diluted version of Wolfgang Petersen‘s Outbreak is unfolding outside. Maybe not so much on the South Texas coast but elsewhere. A variation of Steven Soderbergh‘s Contagion, as we’ve all been reminding ourselves of, and fleeting paranoid flashes of Danny Boyle‘s 28 Days Later, George Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead, Stanley Kramer‘s On The Beach and any other dystopian drama you can think of.

I’d forgotten that the quarter-century-old Outbreak isn’t very good. Over-cranked. Certainly compared to Contagion.

I remember normality**. It was what life felt like three or four weeks ago, and for all the troubles that went with it, it wasn’t that bad.

** I was taught decades ago that “normalcy” is a rube term.