First Entry


March 13th and 14th, 2020 (Friday and Saturday)

Deaths with no funerals. Before long there will be refrigerator trucks.
Facts will be at play – they are long out of fashion here. Americans do not like people to say no to them.
Things are changing fast.
Most of my staff have been laid off or on reduced hours as of Friday.
The city is quiet. Even on a beautiful warm spring day, the usually noisy playground across the street is silent.


Earlier in the week, the impact of the virus was compared to 9/11; now, by week’s end, it is being said to be “worse than 9/11.” Clearly it will be much worse—in terms of affecting more people, affecting the economy, affecting travel, everything. And the effects will last longer and be felt across the country and the globe, everywhere. Subway use is down almost 20%. Museums and libraries in Manhattan closed yesterday or will today. Who knows when anything will reopen.

There are lines outside the big supermarkets in Manhattan — Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The Lifethyme health food store on Sixth Ave. had no line, and it had most foods, but no meat or rice and just a tiny bit of pasta – what remained was gluten-free. Fresh foods and vegetables were in full supply. At the Union Square farmers’ market, there was plenty to buy, but fewer vendors. Had the vendors left by the time I got there at 4:00? Had they already sold out or did they never show up?