At the memorial service for the way things used to be, we ask the usual questions, have the usual conversations until we run out of words. How are you? How’s it going? I am healthy, I have a job, I hate everything, my daughter spends 22 hours a day in her room. My friend says he started The Walking Dead. My friend says it’s too gory. My friend says it’s great. My friend says isn’t the metaphor too spot on. My friend says he quit in the middle of the second season but heard that was the worst part and the show got better later. You never know the right time to give up. In 1892 a doctor marveled at how that year’s flu set fire to different parts of the body with “malicious caprice.” Brain, lungs, legs, heart, you never know. Only that’s not true. How predictable this all was, is the worst part. It’s all the worst part. It’s a gift that the numbers of the dead are too big to comprehend, is the worst part. My friend’s aunt died. My friend’s father had it but recovered. My friend’s father has it right now. My friend had it. My friend had it months ago and can’t walk up a flight of stairs without lying down in the middle. My mother hasn’t been to the post office in 11 months. She hasn’t been anywhere. We don’t know the long-term effects. I’m sorry this isn’t more uplifting. Autopsies don’t teach us much. In most cases by the time the body dies the virus is already gone.