New York: Awakening from COVID-19 Slumber

I’m reminded over and over again how different states and different regions have experienced a different version of pandemic. Oftentimes a simple statement about the virus sends people into a wave of fury.

I’ve attempted to limit my exposure to social media, because although not necessarily physically deadly, the virus of hate that is plaguing our society has made it difficult to want to push forward.

There is absolutely no denying that New York suffered the worst…from the virus…from the shutdowns…from the new normal.

I’ve been here a week, and what I’ve learned is that New Yorkers are a resilient bunch. While the rest of the country was whining about not being able to go get ice cream, this city lost almost all “normal” services and opportunities. They witnessed the horrors of neighbors and friends disappearing to never return. Small businesses shut down in droves… 20% of workers became unemployednearly 32,000 have died so far.

This city does NOT want to go backwards. They are actively wearing masks everywhere outside of their homes. They are happily continuing take-out, delivery, and outdoor dining. I haven’t heard a single complaint about not being able to go to the gym; instead masked runners and bicyclists are hitting the streets. Even the city monuments are wearing masks and showing that they’re #NewYorkTough.

Then…they are creating beautiful things — gardens — overnight.

When outdoor dining and leisure became an option, New Yorkers took to the streets to create literal dining gardens. They are using every resource they can find to build out nice outdoor areas — knowing that indoor spaces are likely to remained closed for quite a long time. So, what were once parallel parking spaces are now beautiful outdoor dining gardens with socially distanced tables.

The Fourth of July was marked with intrigue in New York City. Due to the city not wanting to promote crowds, they didn’t announce when or where fireworks would be shot. And, all week, New Yorkers heard the booming sounds of fireworks from around the boroughs for 5-10 minutes each night. The city was being used as a set for an NBC special by Macy’s. It was controversial…to say the least… but, the city was lit up beautifully for all of us, even if we couldn’t enjoy the festivities to their fullest.

And, the bratty cats are still getting more comfortable every day. 😉

We’re not sure how long all of this will continue. I know that all of us hope that we can return to “normal” (whatever that means) as soon as possible.

Being here has shown me the importance of caring for your neighbor, being courteous and kind, trying to understand another person’s plight or difficulties, and doing your best to help the collective good. America overall is a very independent, self-focused society. Just look at the American Dream… But, in New York, you really don’t have a choice but to adopt a collective spirit. And, for me…that’s a world of difference for the better.

Go for walks, order delivery, have a picnic, change your air filters, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, try to socially distance, and, please, wear a mask.

This too shall pass.

See you on the other side.

Cheers,

Noah and Majhon

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