Eighth Entry


West 21st Street 

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

In the early morning hours the Senate passed a $2 trillion relief bill. Yesterday, the stock market went up 2000 points, the biggest one-day increase since 1933.

The largest Roman Catholic dioceses in Los Angeles officially closed their churches. Masses were suspended a week ago; I guess that means the doors are now locked. Nevertheless, churches plan to ring their bells at noon and 6:00 pm. Why not every hour, as in most towns in Italy?

Covid infections in LA are reported to be 6 to 12 days behind New York, yet their barbershops have already been shuttered. A spokesperson for barbers said, “We should be closed. Who do you need to look good for?” He said barbers would be offering self-grooming tips that people can do at home. Meanwhile, the local courts ruled that gun shops, which had been closed, are essential and can operate as normal—except, of course, those waiting in line to buy firearms need to maintain 6 feet of distance.

In NYC, composting has been shut down by the Health Department. The Metropolitan Transit Authority said they are losing $120 million per week due to reduced ridership; they estimate $4 billion will be needed to survive.  

On the nearly-empty West 21st Street, upright daffodils radiated in front of a brown UPS truck. A passing rain left an especially silvery afternoon light; I hoped people were looking out their windows to see it.  

The line outside Trader Joe’s on 21st Street was one-third as long as yesterday. The average space between people was about 5 feet. On 6th Avenue, a NYC police car turned on an audio loop and a male voice warning about social distancing. I rode away, perhaps to socially distance myself from the unwanted extra noise.