Don’t Spit in the Street, You Moron

Journal Day 3: My little corner of NYC in the age of the Coronavirus, Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Jorie Mar
4 min readMar 25, 2020
Yellow flowering shrub near school in Forest Hills Gardens (all photos taken today) © 2020 Jorie Mar

The weather was nice today, so more people were out, both on Austin Street and in the Forest Hills Gardens. So I had to spend more effort to keep my distance than I did yesterday when it was raining.

I saw some disgusting things.

One man was standing on the curb smoking, and he spit into the street. That’s repulsive even in normal times, but how could anybody do that now, when the virus can travel in saliva?

Then I saw a woman drop a used latex glove right on the sidewalk.

Very unsafe! I know some people who hardly ever leave their apartments since the pandemic hit, and now I’m starting to think that maybe that’s not such a bad idea. Except I need my daily walk too much. I’ll just have to be careful.

Inside the Gardens, a group of 15 people were hanging out on the sidewalk in front of a bar with their take-out drinks. They weren’t huddled together, but they weren’t six feet apart either. Down the block three teenagers stood inches from each other.

People are either not getting the message, or they just don’t care.

I’m not in the best of moods today. I stayed up very, very late again last night, and woke up very, very late again this morning. Will try to get turned around tomorrow.

I had decided that I was going to try to avoid going into stores or restaurants when I could, but on my walk, I got a powerful craving for a wrap from Oba, so I ordered it on my phone and went in to pick it up.

Lamb gyro wrap from Oba. Delicious! © 2020 Jorie Mar

Last night, I watched Trump’s news conference on YouTube and ran it at double the normal speed to save time. That had the unintentional effect of emphasizing how fidgety and uncomfortable Dr. Deborah Birx looked, standing behind Trump.

The news conference was disturbing. I’m finally getting used to all the new safety measures we’ve had to adopt — keeping my distance, being careful not to touch surfaces in common areas and not to touch my face, meticulously washing my hands, not going anywhere further than my feet can take me — and then last night Trump was saying it’s time to abandon the restrictions, though the spread of the virus hasn’t even peaked yet.

This morning, it was even worse, with Trump saying he thought it would be a “beautiful time” if churches across the country were “packed” on Easter — less than three weeks away. I don’t understand how he can think that way.

The news from Cuomo’s broadcast this morning was also bad. The peak of the virus spread in New York is coming sooner than expected — in about two or three weeks. If I recall correctly, the previous projection was six weeks. It’s also going to affect more people than previously thought.

So that’s scary. Especially the bizarre combination of impending disaster on the one hand, and the throwing-caution-to-the-wind attitude on the other.

Since I started this journal, I’ve been posting pictures of pretty things. But as long as I’m being downbeat, I should mention that not everything in this neighborhood is pretty. Here’s a picture of a big ugly hole in the ground. It used to be a supermarket, which the developers tore down to make way for a residential tower. But the project was apparently abandoned months ago, and now nature is slowly reclaiming the hole, starting with spindly weeds:

The spot formerly known as Key Food, now known as nothing © 2020 Jorie Mar

Still, despite my grumpy mood, it wasn’t hard to find beauty, and I enjoyed taking photos with my phone. Here’s one of magnolia blossoms:

Early spring, Forest Hills Gardens © 2020 Jorie Mar

And this morning, after delivering the bad news, Cuomo ended on an almost poetic note: “Love wins always,” he said. “And it will win again through this virus.”

We can only hope.

Next: Journal Day 4 Chickens in the City



Jorie Mar

Semi-hopeful New Yawka. Baby boomer. Inactive attorney. Content mill veteran. Aspiring humor writer. Twitter: @semihopeful