Thirty-ninth Entry


Saturday, April 25th, 2020

“I hate being alone” –– caught my attention. A woman was speaking to her grandson on the radio, probably about connecting remotely. Are people born with a distaste for being alone, or do such tendencies develop? People with a tolerance or even an affinity for being alone have an advantage these days.  

“Freedom over Safety” –– read a protest sign in Wisconsin. Possible translation: “I don’t want rules or restrictions and I don’t care about the outcome.”   

A Bloomberg columnist stated that 50 percent of NYC restaurants may not survive. That sounds better than the 70 percent prediction I heard recently. Still, it is hard for me to envision that half of NYC’s tens of thousands of restaurants will never reopen.  

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

Yesterday in New York, there were 1,100 new hospitalizations and 437 Covid 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. I wonder if books are considered essential by the French government.    

I would be overjoyed if I were a kid in Spain right now; tomorrow is the first day I would be allowed outside since mid-March. Spain had the second-highest number of Covid cases after the US. As an adult, I cannot imagine the toll this containment and lack of play has had on children 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. It is no longer possible to put an envelope much thicker than 1/4” into a metal USPS sidewalk mailbox. The new slot, which replaces the hinged door, is very Covid-appropriate — no surfaces to touch.  

At noon on this sunny Saturday, there was no line at Trader Joe’s. I went in. You are no longer allowed to use your own bags at check out. You can bring your own bag, shop, pay, and then take your items outside onto the sidewalk and put them into your own bags. Folding tables were set up for this task; they were used without any social distancing.  

In the early afternoon, I walked my bike through Washington Square Park, which was fully alive with human activity.    

The western edge of the Union Square Farmers’ Market was roped off as I tried to enter. Perhaps an arrangement to funnel people toward a checkpoint where mask wearing could be enforced. But around the corner, at a makeshift entry point, a sharp and sweeping arm gesture indicated that there was a line of people waiting to enter the market. Such a thing had never occurred to me. The line stretched as far as I could see. I rode on.