Photoshopped by David Simon (COM '21)

Ethan is a junior from Bethel, CT studying Film & Television and Environmental Analysis & Policy.

THE FUTURE—I’m a BU student pursuing an online PhD in History. And while researching early twenty-first century America last week, I was absolutely shocked to find out that during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020, there were college students out partying on Miami Beach! I mean, what on earth is “Miami?”

Look, I know the United States of America from coast to coast, Las Vegas to Nashville. So when I learned that Americans—particularly young people who apparently cared so deeply about protecting their future—were out grinding on each other and taking shots out of their belly buttons in Miami, ignoring the CDC’s orders to avoid gatherings of ten or more people and stay six feet apart at all times to prevent the spread of the virus, I was positively flabbergasted. Have you heard of this “Miami?” Where is it?

My history professors always told me that to understand the future, we must understand the past. So I turned on my iGlasses, interfaced with my great-grandma, and asked if she remembers any of her grandparents’ stories from COVID-19, or any of the other 93 global pandemics in the last century and a half. And she kept coming back with all these crazy stories! While people were supposed to be social distancing, they were out and about, from spring break in Miami to car burglaries in New Orleans to Saint Patrick’s Day in New York City. And I listened, and I was like… “Miami?” “New Orleans?” “New York City?” There’s a city in New York? Is that what they used to call Buffalo?

Maybe I could get to the bottom of this if I were allowed outside, but even with my oxygen mask on, they want us staying inside the apartment to avoid breathing in nitrous oxide, which sucks when I’ve got my beachfront building in West Natick. I was able to dust off an ancient Macbook Air and view this thing called Tiger King about a murderous tiger breeder, which really got me thinking. Difficult questions too, like what is a “tiger?” I’m guessing from context it’s an animal? I wonder if they lived in this “Miami” place…

I have to go—the water is starting to engulf my apartment and there’s a wildfire a block away. Luckily, it’s a brisk 110 degrees out today, so all I’ll need is a light jacket. Oh, and by the way, does anyone know what the B in BU stands for?

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