photo: from my roof
New York City comprises 5 boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s among the world’s major commercial, financial, and cultural centers. Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park. Broadway theater is staged in neon-lit Times Square.
You’re probably wondering what NYC has to do with multiple sclerosis? Well, it’s the epicenter of COVID-19, both in the U.S. and now…globally…and where I’m from (yes, Manhattan, native in my blood & heart) and live, on my own.
I’ve worked from home for several years and while this part isn’t a big change for me, like it is for others that are now, the difference is I break that up by actually GOING OUT. Going out to eat, the movies, exercise, concerts, travel, see family & friends, and shops.
People have asked if I’m lonely, and probably not so much, although I’m a hugger, so I do miss those. Considering I haven’t touched another person in a month. I’m fairly certain living by myself has not only kept the CV away, but also keeps the MS at bay. And I haven’t thrived with MS for the last 12 years to be taken out by a virus that truly is…stupid.
I’d say the City (Manhattan) is probably half empty with so many people leaving for second homes (definitely only 1/3 left in my building). I have friends that work at the local hospitals, and it is as bad as the news is saying, but even with that I couldn’t imagine leaving. Even with the dystopian nightmare that is happening, there is also hope.
There’s really nothing like a NYer when it comes to banding together, helping one another, and fixing the damage in the aftermath. If you haven’t read the Michael Schulman interviewing Fran Leibowitz [here] it’s really worth it. And I was saying it before the article came out!
I’m so thankful (and, I know, privileged being safe at home) for the essential people working out there across all industries: local farmers that keep the food supply going, truckers, grocery stores, environmental services in the hospitals, food delivery, caregivers, drug stores, cable & phone, and everyone else that deserves better than society has done for them historically.
While the billionaire companies have their hands out for money from the government, that they don’t even need (and they chastise every day people for doing it). Billionaires aren’t the ones doing the work keeping the country running, every day people always have, and always will.
I would like to think that things will change after the thick of the crisis is over, I am skeptical, but would love to be proven wrong. People need living wages (based on where they live), universal healthcare (access to HCPs included!), and proper vacation and sick leave. In just about every other western country, these are a right, not a privilege.
Please be safe, wash your hands, stay home, and let’s steamroll that curve! Alicia Keys got it right…[here].
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