Thirty-ninth Entry


Saturday, April 25th, 2020

“I hate being alone.”
Words I heard on the radio—a woman speaking to her grandson. Was it that she missed him, or is her feeling about being alone a part of her nature? Are people born with such a disposition, or do they develop those feelings over a lifetime? People with a high tolerance or even an affinity for being alone certainly have an advantage in the current circumstances.

“Freedom over Safety”
A protest sign in Wisconsin yesterday.

A Bloomberg columnist stated that fifty percent of restaurants in NYC may not survive. That sounds better than the seventy percent I heard recently and hopefully more realistic. Still, it is hard for me to envision that half of the tens of thousands of restaurants in NYC will never reopen.

Eighty percent of nurses in the US say they do not have adequate personal protective equipment, and, even in hospitals, they do not have access to Coronavirus tests.

Yesterday in NY there were 1,100 hospitalizations and 437 Covid-19 deaths.
More than 200,000 people are dead worldwide due to Covid-19.

Amazon is no longer allowed to deliver non-essential packages in France.

If I were a kid in Spain, which has the second-highest number of cases after the US, I would not be able to imagine my excitement – tomorrow is the day that kids will be allowed outside for the first time since mid-March. As an adult, I can only imagine the toll this lack of freedom and old-fashioned play has taken on kids there and around the world.

The UN says that there is no evidence that people who have had Covid-19 are protected against reinfection.

I went to the post office simply to drop something off today. It is no longer possible to put an envelope thicker than a half-inch into the blue mailboxes that are still on the streets. The new slot, which replaces the old hinged door, is very Covid-appropriate—no touching.

On my way back, at exactly noon on this sunny day, there was no line as I passed Trader Joe’s. I went in. You are no longer allowed to use your own bags. Well, you can bring bags, shop, pay, then take your basket outside and put your stuff into your bags on the sidewalk. They had folding tables set up for this, which were being used with minimal social distancing.

In the early afternoon, I walked my bike through Washington Square Park, which was fully alive with human activity. From my point of view, it seemed safe enough; people who were not “with others” were mostly six feet apart.

I could not enter the Union Square Farmers’ Market along the western edge like usual. It was roped off. I assumed there was a checkpoint where a market worker ensured you were wearing a mask, but, when I came around the corner to a makeshift entry point and blithely started to enter, I was told with a sweeping arm gesture that there was a line. Such a thing had never crossed my mind. The line stretched as far as I could see. I rode on.