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.

(Silence.)

MARY JANE: You know Crosby, Stills, and Nash—from the sixties?

CHRISTIE: Sure.

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.

(Silence.)

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. 

(Silence.)

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.

(Pause.)

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.

(End)

© 2020 by Bob Shuman.  All rights reserved.

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