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Opinion | The Omicron Variant Is Creating a Lot of Anxiety

Bret: Fair point. But I’d still like to live in cities where people don’t feel free to smoke meth pipes next to Macy’s in broad daylight, homeless encampments don’t spring up beneath highway overpasses and drugstores don’t have to put toothpaste and other commonplace items behind locked cabinets to keep people from stealing them. In other words, not San Francisco. Liberals in particular should be for making cities livable, especially for their middle-class residents.

Gail: Speaking of quality of life, our colleagues put together a very interesting quiz you can take to determine where you’re best suited to live. Mine came out with New York City at the top, and I’m very very happy to already be in my target town. Almost anybody who loves diversity, live music, restaurants and a car-free culture would be happy here. Presuming they happened to already have a comfortable and affordable living space. Just that one detail …

Anyhow, wondering if you took the test and where you came out.

Bret: The quiz didn’t seem to give me an option to leave the country, which is what our family did when we moved to Hamburg after Trump was elected in 2016, and what we will do again if he’s returned to office in three years. Thinking of either Taormina or Tel Aviv next time.

Gail: Good advance planning, but I’m going for positivity.

Bret: Anyway, according to the algorithm, San Diego is the perfect American city for me. Nice weather, lots of families, tilts conservative. But I’m not looking to move from my old farmhouse anytime soon, and barring another Trumpocalypse I would have a hard time living anywhere that’s more than 60 miles from Times Square.

Gail: If “farmhouse just outside of New York” was an option, pretty sure you could have gotten a majority of the quiz-takers.

Bret: Unfortunately it comes with old farmhouse problems. We have a poltergeist in the attic and a basement worthy of a “Silence of the Lambs” sequel.

Speaking of Times Square, that was sad news about Stephen Sondheim passing away last week. Talk about genius! A friend of mine with an ear for melody and a gift for language sent me a song from “Merrily We Roll Along” that she thought was apropos of our weekly chats:


But the thing that’s positively moving —


You could have fooled me —


Is we’re still old friends!

Nothing can kill old friends!


Where there’s a will, old friends

Don’t need success to survive!


And us, old friends

What’s to discuss, old friends?

Gail: Love the way you think. Sing. Or actually, both. This can be our Sondheim season.

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