What NYC was like during the worst of the pandemic
Updated: Jul 22
For three and a half months, we - like most of the city - stayed mostly inside. My perspective of the pandemic doesn't cover the entire city, but only our small corner of it: behind our door here on Broadway.
We really only had two real lifelines to What Was Going On outside that door: what we saw in the Governor's daily briefings and on the news and what we heard (so many ambulance sirens).
Inside, our day-to-day was only marked by our new, simplified and heavily sanitized routines: cooking our meals, working remotely, caring for our new cats (which we'd just adopted, thank goodness, in early March before everything went crazy).
It was difficult to work, because nothing felt important, but the distraction of having to do it was useful. It was difficult to sleep, because the waking hours were so lazy. Weekdays and weekends blurred together. There was no real excitement, or "big things" like excursions or date nights to look forward to. NO shopping for fun (ugh).
Everything stopped (including - it seems - my metabolism!).
We cheered for essential workers each night at 7pm. We wore our masks (and sometimes gloves) when we grocery shopped. Going to CVS five blocks away was a real treat: please God, let me need some new deodorant or something!
Our situation, the one here on Broadway, was like millions of others here in the city: remarkable because it was so not remarkable. For several months, we were all the same. We all wanted the same basic things: to get through it and to not make life harder for anyone else by getting them sick.
We let some of our aspirations go (bye-bye travel) and got some insight into other parts of ourselves. Not in a "facing mortality" way (for me personally), but in a "who am I when there's no external distractions?" kind of way. It was (and is) instructive.
As always, the goal was to keep going, with a brave (masked) face if necessary. To do what we need to do to get what we wanted: safety, and a little bit of serenity. It was like normal life? Just heightened. And so much quieter.