Coronavirus Diary 3.19.20
Coronavirus Diary 3.19.20
I ask my clients to remember important times in their lives. THIS is in one of those times.
The daily stats (source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/)
World wide cases:229,960 / deaths: 9386
USA: 10, 816 cases / deaths: 161
NYC: 1238 cases / deaths: 11
It is hard to describe what’s happening, because its both very subtle and unseen. All the stores on Broadway, except drugstores and a few food shops are shuttered. A lot like a Xmas day. But in the food stores are lots of empty shelves. Weird. The Apple store was closed, with employees milling about the vast interior. The hoarding of food seems to have lessened but now there isn’t much to buy on the shelves. Toilet paper was unavailable!
The mood on the street, from the few people on them, is pretty relaxed. There is a sense of keeping 6 feet away from each other that is practiced on an ad hoc basis while walking. I have been taking long walks for exercise and to clear my head. Taking go pro time lapses when I can, just to keep busy.
L. is back from school, now officially cancelled for the semester, shortly to begin classes on the internet. He is now up in Vermont with some friends with no intention of coming back to the city unless necessary. Makes sense.
M. is living on East 90 st. He too is working remotely and bored stiff. But at least he’s got a job. For now. He may have an offer at another firm but until its in a contract, would be very hesitant to switch jobs now.
M. is doing God’s Work in her City Council job. Hunkered down in the office with Helen, they are madly trying to help constituents, spread info, create a sense of government in operation.
T & I are hunkered down in their Independent Living place in Yonkers, and seem to be doing fine. No visitors are allowed.
M. is in Washington and seems to be doing fine as well.
S. is in Barcelona with his kids. Not looking good over there at all. He barely responds to my texts.
( So many "M" names.)
Frankly I don’t know anybody has gotten sick. If we had to quarantine somebody it would be a major problem, but guess we could manage. Maybe stay on the East side and M. come here, Who knows.
The mood on the street: guarded. It reminds me of day after 9/11. People were calm, but the panic was near the surface. You could tell that people were ready to jump if things got a little bit worse. I remember contemplating that we lived on an island. How to get off if there is a massive stampede?? Nowadays its more like a shell shock of how fast things are going, and with absolutely no idea of where its going. Cases increasing, no vaccine, little federal help, lots of local info. But the worlds connections, but physical and social are getting pretty weird. Borders closing all over the world, financial ruin seems imminent
Its been quite a year. Trump, impeachment,Democratic primaries (Bernie refuses to quit as Biden sweeps the delegate count) some of which are cancelled, a virtual convention (actually a blessing!) the Market decimated (DJIA went from 30,000 middle of last month to 20,000 today)
Trump now calling it the "Chinese Virus" but finally making real moves that feel like the 1930's: massive infusions of capital to business and checks to individuals, hospital ships, war powers acts to greatly increase hospital manufacturing, army to build temporary beds.
The horror of the situation is clouded by the fact that FAR more people die of the flu every year and there is no panic about that. So why the hysteria now? That’s the question. Panic has a way of taking over people and their rationality.
Its an argument I have with Marisa every day: yes the cases are being reported now, slowly, yes we know what do to: wash hands, don’t congregate, etc. NO we are not any calmer. Emotions are stronger than common sense. She just doesn’t get it. Refuses. Tom, her father calls her a "stalinist" for her mulish adherence to principal. It is both her great strength and weakness. But I admire her dedication, that’s for sure.
C. my friend grade school has the sniffels. We were going to do a walk about in Bklyn. but he was just too hesitant. Being HIV+ means he has to be really careful, especially if he’s under the weather. I hope he isn’t the first virus victim I know.
Going out now for some air. Probably will head to Grand Central Terminal with the Go Pro. (see attached video) Is is a ghost station? Funny how I give myself little assignments for motivation.
Has there EVER been a time like this? No. And have we ever wondered about the safety of our families like this? Not in 50 years.