By Bob Shuman
SCENE: A dog park in the Bronx.
(MARY JANE, early 70s, sits on a bench in the dog run. Using a launcher, SHE plays fetch with her spaniel, LANTERN. CHRISTIE, male, late 50s, is standing and throwing a ball to one of his two terriers—the other sits near MARY JANE.)
MARY JANE: I don’t think it can be coronavirus because I don’t have a temperature.
CHRISTIE: Is that one of the symptoms?
MARY JANE: That’s one of the symptoms. I was checking every fifteen minutes, when I was home, and I don’t have a temperature.
CHRISTIE: Plus you’ve had this for a while–
MARY JANE: About three or four days. Four days. And I’ve never had a temperature. So I don’t think it can be coronavirus.
CHRISTIE: (Relieved.) Well, that’s good. (To one of the dogs.) Good catch, Jasper.
MARY JANE: You know Crosby, Stills, and Nash—from the sixties?
MARY JANE: I was going to see Nash.
CHRISTIE: You were?
MARY JANE: But I told my brother I couldn’t go—he didn’t have a problem, he completely understood. If I was on the aisle, that would be one thing, so I could get up, if I had to. But I didn’t want to be in the middle of a row in case I started to cough.
CHRISTIE: My wife thinks she has norovirus
MARY JANE: I wouldn’t want people to think I had coronavirus.
CHRISTIE: Where is S. A. R.?
MARY JANE: Over by the railroad tracks.
CHRISTIE: Yeshiva is closed, too.
MARY JANE: And the academy.
CHRISTIE: The man lives in New Rochelle. It’s affected over a thousand people. They can trace it.
MARY JANE: I don’t think this can be the flu because I don’t have chills.
CHRISTIE: Early in the morning I think I must be getting sick—under my left eye feels all puffy. But I am fine by the time I get up.
MARY JANE: I was reading about the common cold—and this should peak in the next two days.
CHRISTIE: There’s no one else here—not even the schoolkids.
MARY JANE: It’s like we’re the last two people on earth. (To her dog.) Lantern, find your ball!
CHRISTIE: We’ll meet up with another group of survivors from . . . Italy.
MARY JANE: (To herself.) I’m not contagious.
© 2020 by Bob Shuman. All rights reserved.