I don’t know when Zoom fatigue started. It might’ve been April. I’ve been so lucky to avoid it in my job. I know people who have to do hours of video meetings every work day. Then there are all the events which are on video now, too. My friend, Elisabeth–whose job is in theatre–continues to attend shows regularly, online. And there were those very early days of quarantine when everyone I followed on Instagram was going live. I even did a few baking streams on YouTube, before I realised how quickly it would burn me out.
My brother gave me his login for Disney+. I marathoned the entire series of Foyle’s War on Acorn, after I had signed up for the Miss Fisher movie. Then I randomly decided to buy Netflix and watched The Witcher. But all of that happened in the first three months. For the most part, I haven’t been using TV to get through the pandemic. I haven’t had the attention span for anything longer than edited bits of My Brother, My Brother, and Me.
The podcast is usually more than an hour, containing one or two regular goofs, with four or five questions answered, either Yahoos or from the audience, and then the ad-break in the middle (which sometimes also contains choice goofs). It’s rather easy to separate each bit out from the whole. They’re not all self-contained, but also, after you’ve listened to hours of the brothers, you get the references that are missing. I no longer have the attention span to listen to a whole podcast in a single session. I have the attention span for 5 minutes of jokes, the playlist on perpetual shuffle.
MBMBaM had to cancel all their live shows, of course. I’ve never seen them live; they’ve only been to Vancouver once, and that was before I was a fan. Tonight, though, they figured out how to do something live on video, and I bought my first ticket to an online pandemic event (I think maybe I bought the tickets for Joel Plaskett’s Three shows on the same day, but his first show happened first, so he gets that distinction.)
If this is gonna be live entertainment for a while, I’m fine with that. My last concert was February 11th, Noah Reid at The Imperial, and it was the first day I came down with the flu (I still don’t know it was ~only the flu.) It’s not exactly the greatest memory. I sat at the back, in the bar, because the place was packed (Schitt’s Creek had finally hit the mainstream), and I was sure I would faint.
Getting to watch the boys do their show while in my pyjamas, on my couch, and chatting with the XOXO Slack #mcelroys channel is just about as close to an ideal experience as I could imagine. After eight months at home, it’s certainly one of my highlights.