Updated: May 4
I have been meaning to blog for sometime now but had plenty of excuses not to. After 6 weeks of being indoor because of the covid-19 lockdown, I have literally run out of excuses and so here I am-finally doing what I have wanted to do for a long time. Also, I was inspired when I received a video recording of a poem yesterday from a friend. I had inspired her to learn more about this poet from a reading I had given a few months back (poet being the great #MaryOliver). And she had returned the favor by sharing this beautiful video she uploaded of her own reading.
When this is all over, what will we remember about our one universal shared experience? What will we have learnt? Would it be to never take simple pleasures like walking, dining, shopping outdoors for granted? Would it be to be more mindful of the resources we use? Eat less meat, travel less, donate more? Would it be to be more afraid of strangers, more afraid of hugs, touching etc? I think for me it's all the above and much more.
Living in NYC, the so called epicenter of epicenter.. -USA being one of the worst affected countries, within it - NYC being one of the worst places in USA -somedays makes you feel like a pariah, other days makes you feel so fragile, and then some other days- very loved with phone calls and messages from all around the world, calls from family and friends feeling part worried and part sorry for you.
Today, as part of my #covidmemories, I wanted to blog and capture all the remarkable and good memories I have come to collect and hope to lock inside me for future reminiscing.
1. Surprising and much needed leadership- Many of us in USA feel let down by our president. There is enough fodder out there on how not only did he not show strong leadership on time or show any empathy but he often did the opposite- send wrong messages, boasted about his successful mitigation strategies etc. etc. This recent #nytarticle puts it really well. But, the great news of the virus is strong leaders have emerged from around the country to help more than balance the lack of it at the federal level. Almost every other state has someone we can look up-to for guidance, wise words and a proper strategy in place that can really bring down the related deaths and cases. My favorites include NY state Governer #AndrewCuomo, #Jayinslee, #GavinNewsom, #GretchenWhitmer, Check out this article.
2. #Workers- the group of people doing their work no matter what it is and how much it pays is amazing. Be it delivery folks, doormen in cities like mine, pharmacists, bus drivers, grocery workers or our amazing healthcare workers which includes the people who help support them in terms of keeping the hospitals clean. For many weeks, my friends, us, and our neighbors have been sending food to the nearby ER nurses and doctors. If you want to help, you can through this link. It's a great feeling when the whole city and all cities around the world come together everyday at 7 pm to cheer them. This is one video of that.
3. (online) Neighbors- I am lucky and feel very much part of my community because there is a space online to complain, ask for help, ask for tips, share tips. I am part of the Murrayhill nextdooor neighborhood community. Not sure if there's something similar on Facebook but not everyone is on facebook (like me) and this online community is so much more local and relevant. I posted a link about where to buy Clorox and wipes and within a day I had 30+ posts of all local stores selling it. It was great and feels great.
4. Friends- Never has the need to be connected with friends been more necessary and timely. I am glad for my friend who calls daily to say hello and her little almost three year daughter who somedays says I am her pet mouse, someday her daughter and other days her dance buddy. My mom-in-law who's sheltering in place all alone in New Delhi recently had to celebrate her 73rd birthday all alone. Much thanks to her childhood friend who showed up with lunch and cake from a neighboring town just to spend a few minutes of masked time with her. Friends rule and friends rock. I am trying to be a good friend by calling my friend in Boston every day and exercising with her for an hour while we watch some comedy on Netflix. It's the most fun and most painful hour of the day.
5. Companies. I was so happy to learn that the fanciest hotel in NYC is being converted into boarding space for local doctors and nurses. yay #fourseasonshotel. In another piece of news, I read #jetblue was flying in volunteers for free into NYC. NE Patriots flew in 1million + N95 masks to NYC. How great is that. Opentable is offering slots to buy groceries..how creative and useful. These are my favorite examples but there's a lot of good happening out there.
6. Comedians- Pick any of the late night comedy hosts and you can sit enthralled for hours. It's so great to see them venture online without camera and makeup and do their best to cheer us all up. My favorite so far is this short but absolutely #mustwatch video
7.Some good news.. I recently finished watching #theoffice and was very sad when it ended. Firstly because I had to enter back the real world and secondly because I loved that show. Another #mustwatch IMHO. I was therefore thrilled to come across this gem of a show created to help fight #covidtimes created by #johnkrasinski. My favorite piece so far- the #hamiltonzoom put together in episode 2. Watch it here (start at min 11)
8. Art is us. And last but not the least. It's been so much fun viewing people's art work as they sit at home and recreate masterpieces. Here's a good article on that and here's what me and my friend did in that regard. You can see her work is so much more beautiful but it's the effort that matters, right?