I’ve lived in NYC for a little over 2 years now. I moved here for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, because I wanted to settle down with a nice Jewish boy from Queens. And I’ve got that all buttoned-up, so that’s a silver lining to this whole mess.
The second reason was because I was enchanted by the concept of a city that never sleeps. Imagine! A bustling metropolis where there’s no shortage of places to go and people to see. Broadway shows, a parade every other weekend, bars, restaurants, night clubs, museums. Crowds and crowds of locals and tourists alike, all sharing the common experiences of living it up in the Big Apple. It was everything I ever wanted.
And it was nice while it lasted, but this past week has marked (forgive the pun) the end of the world as we know it.
Suddenly, I’m living in a ghost town. Everything is closed, cancelled, or deserted. No one is leaving the house to go to work, and no one is leaving the house to go do anything for fun, either. We’re all pretty much just sitting on our couches, nervously refreshing our chosen news apps, and streaming R.E.M. on repeat while coming absolutely no closer to learning the lyrics.
In short, the vibes out there are WEIRD. It’s a strange time to be alive, and it’s marred by this unspoken underlying fear that pretty soon we’re not even going to have “being alive” as a guarantee.
I personally shouldn’t be in any danger from COVID-19. I’m 28 years old, I have no pre-existing medical conditions, and quite frankly I’m in great shape. Even if I get the virus, it shouldn’t mean more for me than a few days of bed rest. It’s not like my death is assured in an imminent apocalypse, right?
Except that military police were deployed to NYC over the last couple of days, ostensibly to make sure that no one flips shit and causes a riot, but possibly because the apocalypse is imminent.
Granted, no one has actually SAID that this is the apocalypse. But still, every time I hear a siren outside the window, I feel like I’m in the first 20 minutes of a zombie movie. “Is that the one?” I wonder. “Is it all over for us?”
And honestly, if the pandemic itself doesn’t do it, then the collective panicked disbanding of society is going to be what does us in.
Two or three days ago, a man was coughing on the 2 train in the Bronx and an entire car full of strangers forced him to exit the train. And I, an otherwise intelligent, compassionate, level-headed and reasonable person, was on their side in that decision. If you so much as clear your throat in my presence, I’m going to double-tap you like Woody Harrelson is watching. And I’m pretty sure that no jury in this town would convict me for it.
I really don’t know how much state-sanctioned paranoia NYC can sustain before we go completely Mad Max with it. But I guess we’re all about to find out together, right guys?
Civilization, it’s time to ask yourself one question:
ARE YOU READY TO RUUUUUUUUMBLE?