Forty-third Entry



Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

Last night I walked home. Walking is almost always refreshing, and it was delightful to have the sidewalks all to myself.  


wanted to experience nighttime activity on a west-side avenue with traffic heading uptown. Each time the lights turned green, a tiny wave of northbound cars (usually three or four) and a truck approached. Sometimes the rhythmic cycle—red to green to yellow—revealed no vehicles, just emptiness. Walking south, I couldn’t see the traffic lights, so I couldn’t discern if a fresh green light introduced any moving vehicles. I wanted to accurately record the conditions but not give all my attention to counting. I found a good balance. Creating balance is key, and helpful in these odd times.  


the morning news, I heard that seatings at “dine-in restaurants” are down 100%. When do we hear about anything changing by 100%? Air travel remains down 95%. But 100% feels more stark, even if the number is not that different. 

Someone on the radio said, “The crystal ball is cloudy.” As the weeks pass, the future, which is never known, has become significantly more uncertain.  

Boeing plans to lay off 10% of its workforce. They say they are not expecting to sell planes for four to eight years. It is hard to align those pieces of information; wouldn’t a significantly larger layoff be necessary to address that projection?  

GDP in the United States dropped by 4.8% in the first quarter. That time period included more than two busy pre-pandemic months. Even with the daily dark economic news, the stock market is up again before the opening bell this morning. I hope someone will explain this cognitive dissonance to me.

Every day since mid-April, the news has become increasingly partisan and less interesting than it was following the arrival of Covid in the US two months ago. The sheer novelty of the overall situation created a curious news microclimate – one more based on reporter’s direct observations and experiences than official press releases or in-depth reporting. This condition lasted far longer than after 9/11 when raw reports only lasted hours, not weeks. 

New York’s police commissioner, Dermot Shea, announced that crime was up 20% in the first two months of this year. Then, it dropped considerably when the pandemic arrived. He said there had been some looting, but nothing more than “people taking advantage.” He did not mention desperation, though he did say that the number of domestic murders has increased since people have been “cloistered at home.”


2-minute audio
Late night, out of balance, Mister Mister can I have a dollar.