The theater of operations during the Covid-19 pandemic:,

Imagine a large-scale play with so many extras that the authors have to improvise as the action unfolds.

Imagine, that to ensure the extras’ full cooperation throughout the play, that they are made to believe they are actually actors, actors who must wear costumes. But with so many extras…er, I mean actors, to coordinate, the dialogue and actions must be kept very simple. In fact, to save on logistical effort, it was decided that the actions would be the same for each actor.

Remember that the actors are actually extras, and there are a lot of them. Remember also that the authors improvise as they go along. It takes a lot of outreach to make sure that changes in the script are communicated. Because without corrections in the actions, the actors (the extras) will end up walking out of the play… well, I mean, the play will become an experimental play, with little success with the general public (as it should).

Some of the actors will seem to not follow the guidelines… er, I mean, the corrections in the script of the talented writers (well, it takes a lot of courage to try to make art with such a lousy premise). But it’s all arranged with the views guy. These actors actually volunteered to play the role of the antagonists…

We have to understand here, that in order to attract an audience, whether it’s for a movie, a TV series, or a play, you need some headliners. Professional actors. Most of the budget for costumes and props will go to these actors, of course (because the other actors are actually extras in disguise, oops the pun… er, words, I meant). And of course, again, these actors will come to question the voluntary actors. Trying to transgress the rules of storytelling, the authors will not give the role of protagonists to the leads. Such a choice of brainstorming before writing the play is either foolhardy or unconscious. This is known in the arts as “rule-breaking” by authors.

With so many extras, I mean actors, the costume budget is not there. The extras have to pay for their own costumes, they are told. But since they are also told that they are actors and that without them the play might be a mess, they agree to pay for the costumes they will wear out of their own pockets. Knowing the precarious condition of this improvised adventure, the authors of this play do not want complicated and expensive costumes. They do not want to scare away the extras. Because without them, the play would be a mess…

But since the actors are in fact extras, they are not allowed to say a word, no dialogue for them. They may be colonized, uh, I mean, citizens, but they are not real artists. So, no artistic citizenship for them. Besides, the art colony is too small to accommodate them all. But no disturbance in the narrative, uh, I mean the narrative, the actors will wear the symbol of their condition of commitment to this play: the mask. In a literary short story, this would be called a punchline. But here, it’s just a plot device. And better yet, this plot device acts (eh!) as a trademark, a symbol to raise the value of our intellectual property. And remember, folks, without good IP laws with severer penalties, the artists would be poor and unable to earn a living.

In the military, this operation would be called a health emergency. But don’t forget that all this is really just an art project, an entertainment. There is no risk, the big bad of this story does not really exist. This is all fiction. The audience of the performance is of age and vaccinated. They will sleep well tonight. Like every other night.

Except that…

The authors are out of inspiration. They don’t know how to finish the play with the rules of engagement they’ve given themselves. They can’t abort all those efforts without a good Deux Ex Machina. But they don’t even know how to do the absurd with the script because the actors (extras) are so caught up in it. So they try the Greek tragedy. The premise of the play was the health crisis. The end of the play will be a real health crisis…

Because after the green, yellow, orange, red and dark red zone, there will be the brown zone.

Good relief, and congratulations to the artists!

Translated with (free version)

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