It’s Raining, but the Walk Must Go On
Journal Day 2: My little corner of NYC in the age of the Coronavirus, Monday, March 23, 2020
Self-created rituals are important now, so I didn’t let some rain stop me from taking my daily walk. The streets were even emptier than usual during the pandemic, so it was easier to keep the six-foot distance, for the most part. And I don’t mind the rain. The summer humidity is another story, but we have a ways to go before that kicks in.
There were people on Austin Street, but few walking or driving around the Gardens. It was so quiet in the Gardens that there were no sounds competing with the birds singing in the trees, and I could hear them like never before. I stopped often to take pictures:
There was a new sign today in the elevator in my building, that said that no more than two people should ride at the same time, and they should stand at opposite ends of the elevator with their backs to each other:
I pictured this as a Jules Feiffer cartoon, with two stick figures, a man and a woman, standing with their backs to each other, shoulders tensed, arms tightly crossed across their chests, scowling at the walls.
Of course, it’s a good idea. I suspect it may not even be an issue very often because so few people are going in and out these days. Today, I had the elevator to myself both ways.
Otherwise, it was a short day for me. I was up very late last night — I’m not even going to admit how late — but then I slept more than seven hours, which is a lot of sleep for me. I was glad I could sleep that long. It’s good for building up my immune system, which is something I’m trying to work on.
I got up just in time to watch Gov. Cuomo’s press conference, which is another one of my new daily rituals. I appreciate the way he presents the facts, with minimal sugar-coating, while also trying to raise people’s spirits:
The bad news is that as many as 80% of the people in New York could eventually get the virus, and the current crisis could last as long as nine months. I’ve heard similar things before (with slightly lower numbers — 70% and eight months), so it wasn’t a shock to hear this during this morning’s news conference, but it was sobering to hear again.
Meanwhile, the one who I don’t feel like naming at the moment could throw a huge monkey wrench into the works by encouraging everyone to go back to work before it is safe to do so. If that happens, the rest of the country could start seeing the same kinds of number we’re seeing here. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen and that science and sanity prevail.
Next: Journal Day 3: Don’t Spit in the Street, You Moron