December 2020/January 2021

Mazel & Mishagoss: 2020 in Review by Way of a Strange Monthly Diary


By Stephanie Lewis

January – Dear Diary: Happy 2020! My optometrist calls it, “The Year of Clear Vision!” because of 20/20 perfect eyesight. Nothing else new, looks like it may be a dull, uneventful year.

February – Dear Diary: The WHO just renamed The Coronavirus as COVID-19. I’m waiting for them to change their hit song Baba O’Riley to Teenage Wasteland, since that’s what everyone thinks the title is anyhow. (Google it!)

March – Dear Diary: I don’t think they mean ‘The Who,’ as in the 60’s rock group. Because suddenly there’s lots of peer pressure to buy toilet paper. I’m just going along with the crowd and stocking up. I mentioned this latest fad to my mother, and she started her usual, “So if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do that as well?” routine. Also I turned 50 the same day the U.S. declared a national emergency. Even though nobody called or sent a card, I consoled myself thinking the entire country is singing, “Happy Birthday” to me each time they wash their hands the proper length of time.

April – Dear Diary: Today I came up with the clever observation that “Passover is cancelled this year due to an 11th plague.” However, someone plagiarized it, turning the whole thing into a viral meme, earning them a small fortune. Now there’s a new phrase circulating which states, “We Must Flatten the Curve!” This time I’m not taking any chances. I’m gonna copyright that and sell it to Spanx or another company manufacturing women’s undergarments. Look for it soon on packages of control-top girdles and minimizer bras!

May—Dear Diary: The news says we should all use face masks. I’m thinking a dermatologist must’ve somehow gotten involved and decided we need nicer complexions. Oh boy, now everyone will hoard the ones for oily skin and probably the kind with avocado that helps tighten pores and smooth wrinkles in women my age. Sheesh!

June – Dear Diary: How is it that every single storefront or place of business emails me detailed reports on a daily basis alerting me to the elaborate lengths they’re going to with regards to hygiene and the fastidious steps their employees are taking to kill germs – yet I can’t get a single verbal confirmation from any of my six kids that they’ve rinsed their hands before dinner?

July – Dear Diary: It seems everywhere on social media I’m shamed for unproductiveness. Rubbing my nose in how creative everyone else is during lockdown. I can’t go a single day without getting reminded, “Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a quarantine.” Big deal! If he was really such an overachiever, he would’ve also penned Antony and Cleopandemic and Corona-eo and Juliet. Plus I’m sick of Netflix’s “Are you STILL watching?” pop-up notifications after hours of bingeing. But now my fridge asks, “Nu? You’re STILL eating?!”

August – Dear Diary: Famous scientists and pharmaceutical labs work feverishly to find a vaccination. Then there’s my Grandma Maxine, who insists her chicken soup is the cure! But instead of “Jewish Penicillin” in a bowl, she wants her broth administered by needle syringe so she can call it “The Maxine Vaccine.” Grandma always had such a big ego.

Sept-December – Dear Diary: All these months the country is completely divided so I decided to unite people with my funny version of Abbot and Costello. I’ll say, “WHO declared a pandemic?” and when they answer, “That’s right.” I’ll respond, “No, I’m asking you … Who declared a pandemic??” After we go round and round with this shtick, at some point I’ll shout, “I Don’t Know is on third base!” Okay, okay … so maybe it still needs a little more work. Good riddance 2020!

Stephanie D. Lewis is on Huffington Post and



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