With 75 million Americans sheltering in place and another two million on the verge of filing for unemployment, the coronavirus pandemic would seem to provide little reason to be happy. Deaths from COVID-19 just passed the 15,000 mark worldwide, and Wall Street is bracing for another major hit today after Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked action on the trillion-dollar stimulus plan.
It would take the most diehard optimist to put a positive spin on a situation that has led to unprecedented levels of uncertainty and abiding fears over the future of the human race.
Be thankful, therefore, for Madonna. The onetime star has reemerged online in a Twitter video in which she reveals the “wonderful” side of the coronavirus epidemic.
For some reason, she appears in the bathtub, naked and surrounded by rose petals, in the clip. Maybe that is to remind onetime fans — perhaps herself — that she was once viewed as a sex symbol. Her message of positivity comes toward the end of the clip:
What’s terrible about it [the coronavirus] is that it has made us all equal in many ways. And what’s terrible about it is that it has made us all equal in many ways.
— Madonna (@Madonna) March 22, 2020
The saddest part of all this pocket philosophizing is that the view of death as the great equalizer is centuries, if not millennia, old. In 1659, Shakespeare contemporary James Shirley wrote in “The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses”:
The glories of our blood and state,
Are shadows, not substantial things,
There is no armour against fate,
Death lays his icy hand on Kings,
Scepter and crown,
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be made equal made,
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.
No doubt Madonna, who uses the well-worn phrase in her cleansing homily, will seek to copyright it.
(h/t Wes Walker, ClashDaily)