Life Update: Life in the City Right Now

Let me quote from my last post, which I published 8 days ago:

Also last week the Coronavirus reached New York. It actually turned out that my school district has been much more affected than the City itself. But of course we are all worried because the population density here is very high and the virus spreads fast. Personally I am not so concerned about becoming terribly sick, but about our wedding being impaired. What if my parents won’t be able to come here? Or, even worse, what if they close down city hall and we can’t get married on the date that has already been engraved into our wedding bands? And what about our honeymoon that we booked several weeks ago? The next few weeks will show how all of that actually goes … fingers crossed.

Last Week & Now

8 days ago, the Coronavirus still seemed like a possible threat. Something that affected other people. I read Corinna’s blog posts about how the virus has restricted everyday life in Italy. But Italy seemed very far away. Last Wednesday morning at work we discussed the possibility of the school being closed. Even then that seemed still like a strange and unlikely idea. Well, ever since the situation has escalated.

Last Wednesday afternoon they announced that my school would close on Friday. On Thursday that it would close until 29 March. By now not only private, but also public schools have been shut down. I have begun to teach my students online.

Last Wednesday night the president gave a speech and banned Europeans from entering the country. My parents were suddenly barred. That was the moment when I knew that our wedding wouldn’t take place in a few weeks. We have postponed our wedding indefinitely, cancelled hotel bookings, restaurants, etc. Basically, we are just waiting for the city clerk’s office to also close. We also cancelled our honeymoon.

On Saturday we went outside to do a few last things. Even then Midtown felt empty. Many cafes and restaurants closed. Today a proper ban has started, i.e. cafes and restaurants are only open for takeout and delivery service. Most other shops remain closed. From today on cinemas and gyms don’t open anymore. Supermarkets remain open though. I had to go to the bank today where I was the only client. But outside there were quite many people walking around. As people don’t listen to authorities to keep mostly inside, officials are now discussing a ‘shelter in place’.

Why I stay at home

I have the impression that I am a lot more afraid than most of my friends and colleagues. Unless absolutely necessary, I want to spend my time at home. When I need fresh air, I can easily go to our roof deck or the patio. But I really want to stay away from people other than my boyfriend (and Canavar). Maybe I am more afraid because I follow European and U.S. American news. I am definitely more afraid because I have come to realize that I trust neither the current government nor the health system. Also, I gained a good insight of all the things that are not being done as my boyfriend is a doctor, working in a hospital. Additionally, I fear that I will soon or later end up with the virus (no matter if I get sick or not) because he is a hospital doctor.

On the other hand, I am for now content staying at home. I continue to work every day and quite enjoy learning new skills through e-teaching/learning. As I don’t commute, I save about three hours of my time every single day. Thus I also get to sleep longer every morning. So far I haven’t been bored for even a second. I know that I am lucky because I don’t have many responsibilities at home besides continuing my work – the cat is actually overjoyed to see me home all the time. So I have many things in mind that I would love to do and some that I should do. Let’s see how I feel in a few days or even weeks.

How have you been? How has the Coronavirus affected your life?

© janavar

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