When COVID, Chaos, and Cognitive Decline Collide…Who Could Imagine That

Vintage Illustration Jon Whitcomb

I’ve always had a fertile imagination.

For nearly six decades I’ve imagined my life unfolding in the form of a TV show always playing to an imaginary studio audience and their reactions.

Its genesis was the late-night imaginings of a 5-year-old who in the comfort of her suburban bedroom created her own 1960’s Comedy Variety show aptly named the “Sally Show.”

An amalgam of Ed Sullivan, The Red Skelton Hour, and Jackie Gleason, I was not only the congenial host introducing the various acts but performed them all too. Belting out songs to rival Judy Garland and Sophie Tucker, I did comedy.


Borscht Belt stand up to put Henny Youngman to shame,  (“Take my Betsy Wetsy….Please!”)  Since no 1960s variety show was complete without the obligatory ventriloquism portion of the show, my very own Jerry Mahoney doll came in handy.

For a Jewish little girl brought up kosher, I was quite the ham.

The pretend show, produced late at night in the dark of my bedroom was lit only by the greenish glow from my GE electric clock, and the sliver of light from a pale pink nightlight. From the moment my mother bid me goodnight with a bedtime story and a tender kiss, at the sound of the door being shut my bed turned into a theatre.

The acts were performed not on a stage but underneath and on top of my Cannon no iron sheets during the wee hours when I was supposed to be sound asleep. While my parents were chuckling to Carol Burnett on their own bedroom TV screen, little did they know that an entire Television show was being performed live just down the hall at Studio 1 on Western Park Drive.

The Sally Show

Through the years, the show’s name remained the same but the format expanded beyond the confines of my bedroom and like a reality show could occur anywhere.  The show itself morphed several times from the initial variety show it eased into a Desilu situation comedy and then eventually a late-night talk show a la Johnny Carson. Starting in the early 1970’s it became more a dramedy where it remained until this 2020 season where it shifted to a soap opera with one life tragedy occurring after another.

Enough is Enough

vintage comic cartoon

However, in the melodrama my life has become this past year, the scriptwriters have now really jumped the shark by throwing COVID into the storyline.

Wasn’t losing a home, financial ruin, the near-death of a beloved dog, and a husband in cognitive decline creating massive chaos enough of a storyline to keep this season’s audience at the edge of their seat? I thought the ratings were boffo.

Apparently not.

To my great surprise, this week’s episode is titled”Covid is in Da House.”

After taking a COVID test in anticipation of a  routine procedure, my husband tested positive, and we are now in quarantine. Extreme vigilance seems not to have made a difference to this sneaky virus. A preliminary test has shown I am negative but quarantining in place with someone with impaired judgment presents its own very difficult challenges.

And today the script is throwing in a massive Nor’easter. They are shooting for an Emmy with that.

The script twists and turns in “The Sally Show” might seem fantastical and over the top at times, but even the scriptwriters have their limits when it comes to reality.

Jewish jokes yes. Jewish Space Lasers, no.

When it comes to vivid imagination and flights of fancy, I think Marjorie Taylor Greene has far surpassed any of my own imaginings. But instead of having her own variety show at home, she has a seat in the U.S. Congress.

Imagine that!




  1. Sally, best wishes for you and your husband. Keith


  2. Hoping for negative reviews for the COVID storyline, Sally. Stay safe. The show must go on!


  3. Beth Feldman

    Another moving yet entertaining piece. I appreciate Sally’s personal stories so much & her perspective on our current events crises. Wishing you all the best of health & a comfortable smooth move. 💜


    • I’m glad you enjoyed this one Beth and so appreciate your support and enthusiasm. Thank you so much for your well wishes. Onward and upward to watch ever the “Sally Show” morphs into next!


  4. Pierre Lagacé

    We are helpless while facing what is going on right in the world. It’s hard not to imagine that the worst is still to come.

    How people are getting infected even when they took every precaution is somewhat scary.

    Maybe this is just a bad dream Sally and you will wake up as a 5 year-old…


    • I would be delighted if I were to wake up as a 5 year old from a terrible nightmare and be soothed by my mother reassuring me it was all a bad dream. It was something she did often. Given that I live surrounded by so much of my past and my childhood, its not a far stretch. Sadly despite taking every precaution, COVID can sneak into your system. Since March I have never been in public without a mask and my trips outside my house are extremely limited. Yet, here we are despite being vigilant. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to get a vaccine where I love and trying to secure an appointment is very difficult. It has become a second job staying online to see availability. Hopefully that will change soon.


      • Pierre Lagacé

        I know how hard this is Sally. We all hope things will get better, but we are not alone in this. All people have to come together. We will one day, but before that happens things will get worst like those dreaded Jewish laser in outer space… That last part is sarcastic Sally. We have to keep smiling in front of adversity.


      • I have always used and relied on humor to get me through any adversity. It is my savior and weapon of choice in fighting battles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pierre Lagacé

        And we surely need humor these days with those dreaded Jewish lasers…


  5. I’m hoping this is just one of those mid-season cliff hangers and that we’ll return for the new season to find out that it was all a dream. You deserve better Sally. I’m sending all kinds of positive vibes and lasers. When and if there is something I can do, I hope you’ll let us all know (start a Patreon!)


    • Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words Susie! I am indeed waiting for this to be a “Dallas” moment and wake up for it all to have been a dream. Given the past 4 years of Trump, that would not be the worst idea for our country too!.
      I suspect in reality this seasons version of the Sally Show is really an episode of Survivor and being resilient, I am sure I will end up being the winner. I will look into Patreon.


  6. Pierre Lagacé

    You must visit this blogger cartonist…



  7. Pierre Lagacé

    This is where I got my information on Jewish space lasers…



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