WSZIO kids events and activities are suspended until further notice due to COVID-19. STAY SAFE, STAY AT HOME. Below is the latest WSZIO column:
Snippets from a Diary from a Plague Year in Quarantined New York City 2020
(apologies to Daniel Defoe)
- I wake up every morning and go to sleep each night with the sound of sirens in my ears. It is an almost continual backdrop to everyday life at this crazy time. I listen for the welcome sound of birds. I will put my bird feeder back up so I can watch them in my backyard to remind me that spring is coming on in the succession of cold, grey days.
- I received a package of masks and gloves. I give a box to my son who manages a pharmacy and is out dealing with the public all day and some masks to my good friend who is still traveling the subway each day to get to work watering plants. I worry about them every day. Last time my son and daughter in law visited they kept their masks on. I miss hugging them. I reflect on how fortunate I am to be able to work from home, even though my hours were cut, many do not have this luxury.
- Today I reflect on my little house and the people I live with: my husband and son. I am indeed fortunate to have a real home and family so I am not alone, as so many are. Doing more house cleaning than ever and cooking and baking. Well, that is something. This is like living during a time of war. Shortages of basic supplies, fear, deserted streets, rationing. But somehow, we carry on within our homes, and we who can do this are the lucky ones.
- We went food shopping at Shoprite during the “senior hours.” Already a huge line waiting for the regular opening time. We went right in, which was nice. Store fairly well stocked, not too many shoppers though. They were playing Baby Boomer music over the sound system. They started playing Daydream Believer by the Monkees, and I started to sing through my mask and dance around through the almost empty aisles. Suddenly I felt like I was that 14-year-old kid going to JHS 227 in Bensonhurst Brooklyn, and for the first time in a long time I felt happy. Music has that kind of power.
- Watching Governor Andrew Cuomo on TV. Latest hospitalization and ICU rates are down. Death toll is going down from 780 people to 500s per day. Federal government still standing in the way of testing, congress wrangling over relief bills. If it weren’t for Cuomo’s daily dose of sanity, I think I would feel totally lost.
- Of course, here come the COVID-19 profiteers and deniers. Jacking up prices on necessities and taking advantage of us when we are down. And the virus deniers waiving guns around demanding the “right” to spread infection and perhaps die. It is a hoax, a liberal plot, etc. Willful ignorance and blindness can kill. This fills me with a type of anger I have never known. Death is not political. The virus is nonpartisan, it sickens and can kill anyone unfortunate enough to be in its path. There are people on the frontline EVERY DAY risking their lives to save others. The people keeping essential businesses open, keeping our world from collapsing, keeping the food in the markets, the prescriptions available for those whose lives may depend on them, the busses and trains running, all at risk to themselves for us. So many people, especially the healthcare workers at the frontlines in this war, are called upon each day to put on their “armor” and go back out into the middle of the chaos of infection, disease, and death wondering “how long will it be until I am also infected and perhaps dead?” Yet they keep on in the fight every day. This is a new type of bravery. We owe them everything.
These have been my thoughts and feelings so far during this pandemic lockdown. I have no doubt we will get through this, and look back on it as a very steep learning curve and a true test of our mettle. In the meantime, PLEASE wear your masks and gloves in public, observe social distancing, keep washing your hands and use the hand sanitizer. We will get through this, but what type of city, state, and country we will be we have yet to see. Hopefully we will be stronger and wiser.
As of now, for obvious reasons all WSZIO events are suspended and probably will be until next spring.
Check out our Facebook page: (https://www.facebook.com/Westchester-Square-Zerega-Improvement-Organization-Inc-120099117078/) because we post everything we get from NOTIFY NYC on there.
Again, this is not a time for politics or petty differences. We all want to survive this. We must help each other. We wish you all health and safety. Until we meet again.
A hopeful TTFN to you all.