Maria awoke with a fitful start.
She palmed her phone and furiously tapped an email to the reindeer:
Stay home this year.
Santa has underlying conditions: a 35 BMI, high blood pressure, a touch of asthma, and according to my calculations—he’s well over 65 years of age.
Tell the elves, for social distance sake, to take the workshop outdoors—plus, it’s temperate now in the North Pole.
Then she pictured how climate change might have altered the tundra into a swamp—the taiga was a wonderful breeding place for all the beasties of the Culicidae.
Oh, this Christmas could suck! She wrote. But even the mosquitoes deserve a blood meal or two. Let’s take it outdoors and do the best we can.
Then she went back to bed to sleep it off. She wished to sleep through the plague and wake up when it had vanished.
Instead, she had nightmares of skiing down scree fields through veils of plaguey mosquitoes.
“And in short, I was afraid.”
— T.S. Eliot / “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”