Day 17

…or day 18, I don’t know. They’re all bleeding together. The days and the numbers. 

The latest totals are 164k+ confirmed cases and 3,165 deaths in the United States. Almost 67k of those confirmed cases is in New York, along with 1,218 of those deaths. New York is has taken the brunt of the coronavirus wave so far. But the latest numbers might have some glimmers…

 

The last 5 days have seen daily new cases somewhat stabilize, and even (hopefully) peak? Too soon to really tell, but a continued decrease in daily new cases is the news we’re all anxiously waiting for. Cuomo also announced at his press conference this morning that while there’s been nearly 14k people hospitalized because of coronavirus, 4,200 have been discharged. 

New York City awoke to the sight of the USS Comfort sailing past the State of Liberty, bringing it’s 1,000 hospital beds to support the pandemic’s frontline in the city. In central park, Samaritan’s Purse erected a field hospital with 68 beds in preparation for the expected swell in hospitalized patients. And the day ended with news that Mayor deBlasio will be imposing $500 fines for anyone not following social distancing. Today was a day filled with symbolic harbingers for New York City. 

If the images and government increased responses aren’t foreboding enough, there’s this story of an 86-year-old woman who was punched (and died) in a hospital for not social distancing.

Another Month…

It was announced yesterday that CDC & Federal guidelines of continued non-essential business shutdown, and stay at home, will last through April. It hasn’t even been three weeks since this began, another month of this hard to grasp. Luckily supply wise I’m still stocked up – the biggest challenges now will be how to wash my clothes (laundromats are closed for the most part here), and how to stay sane in isolation (thankfully I downloaded COD Modern Warfare on the recommendation of an old friend.) 

Social distancing has become a norm – and with any norm, I’ve picked up inherent oddities. For example, why is there a line spilling out down the whole side of Trader Joe’s, while on the other end of my block there’s barely 5 minute lines in Fairway Market? 

Or the way you pass people on the sidewalk now – on completely opposite sides, even going so far as walking in the road if the sidewalk gets too narrow. Even with masks and gloves, people can never be too careful I guess. Ironically, there’s more eye contact and smiles (or what I think there are behind the masks) than ever before. People are kinder amidst all of this, just from a distance. 

The norm of walking Gizmo, then disinfecting when I come back in. Taking the trash and recycling out, then disinfecting when I come back in. My daily walk around Manhattan, then disinfecting when I come back in. Disinfecting everything, then washing my hands, then remembering to use lotion (because after the first week my hands looked like the Lizard’s from Spiderman.) 

That any of this is becoming the norm is sobering. It’s only been three weeks and it’s already getting hard to remember what life was like before social distancing. After another month, I wonder what normal will look like then.