Famous novels' opening lines rewritten for the present pandemic moment

In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone, coughing and snotting everywhere, came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul, so the entire household was quarantined by the Emperor and House Harkonnen went instead.



Doesn’t even need any changes:

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home

Wind in the Willows


This game never gets old.

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buenda was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to get vaccinated in the parking lot in front of Wal-Mart.”

One-Hundred Years of Solitude

“Purell, light of my life, fire of my loins.”


“Families that follow the latest CDC guidelines are all alike; every covidiot family is covidiot in its own way.”

Anna Karenina


For a long time, I went to bed early - because since all the bars, theatres and restaurants were shut, the TV was just showing repeats and knock-off baking competitions and I couldn’t afford a streaming service what with not qualifying for any of the government assistance schemes due to being classified as a self-employed contractor, there really was nothing else to do.

In Search of Lost Time.


If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like it, if you want to know the truth; I’m on my way to my parents’ funeral, they have died of covid.


The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed at a minimum distance of six feet.

Stephen King, The Gunslinger


“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still hadn’t worked out how to properly wear a protective face mask.” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams


With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer was cancelled because of the pandemic in the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea.

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas - Ursula K. Le Guin


He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without going outdoors.
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

A year that has no beginning or end
The End of the Affair, Graham Greene

The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing boxsets from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end
The Napoleon of Notting Hill, G. K. Chesterton


Nice try, Pesco. I’m still not reading Moby Dick.


Perhaps more to the point, but your original thesis still works.


Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendra was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ICE.

One Hundred Years of Solitude–Gabriel Garcia Maquez

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