Hello Friends, It's been awhile. I'm holed up at home along with 297 million Americans instructed to do the same. By tomorrow, more states will come online with stay-at-home advisories or orders. Every number associated with the COVID-19 pandemic gets bigger. Things get more restricted, more risky, more deadly by the hour. The day when this is expected to turn a corner gets pushed out farther and farther.
Just three weeks ago, officials told us to avoid gatherings of more than 250 people--it wasn't wise to pack restaurants, bars or spring break beaches. Today, those venues all closed, we wonder if a single weekly trip out of the house for groceries will be the one that gets us. It's giving us the opportunity to become reacquainted with the bottom of our freezers for the first time in I-will-never-admit-to-you-how-long a time. That long. But the impact of the coronavirus on all of our lives has been swift.
We have plenty of time to think. As a former television journalist, I realize I still have an insatiable appetite to know what's going on. I'm fascinated by this pandemic both as a citizen trying to keep herself and her loved ones healthy, and also as a newsperson completely riveted by the depth and coverage of this as a news topic. The cable stations and online newspapers are up all day while I manage my residential real estate business virtually. Only after the supper dishes are done do I reach my saturation point and turn to a mindless British TV murder mystery or some makeup tutorial on youtube. Now that is mindless. And somehow, so necessary.
Some of my friends find all the coverage stressful, but I find it oddly comforting to know what the experts have to say minute by minute. I've been reading about this mysterious form of pneumonia in the New York Times since early December. There were first person accounts and videos of how deadly this was, how hospitals in China were so overwhelmed they were building a new one from the ground up in just two weeks. There were reports the virus was plunging China into recession and that the virus would spread around the world. It was all there for the knowing and for taking action. And only three weeks ago did our government choose to listen and do something about it. So, along with fear, I feel fury. Our inaction, our inexcusable lack of preparation, our failure to produce and stockpile basic medical supplies, is killing people.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. To match the fear and fury I clutch to signs of hope and humor. The nightly 7 pm demonstrations in apartment windows and on the streets of New York as grateful citizens applaud the health workers at shift change choke me up. Every time. It never gets old.
The efforts of ordinary people mobilizing to do what they can to make things better for the first responders, and the millions of workers we might have taken for granted who now risk exposure every day to supply us with groceries, staff the pharmacies, process our packages and deliver our mail. I don't venture out much lately, but whenever I do, I thank each and every worker I encounter for getting to the job each day in order to help us.
And the wine memes flying around on social media. Priceless. Thank you. Thank you for every one of them you produce and share.
The business of real estate continues, albeit with some changes. Some of them I honestly hope will continue after the crisis is over. I'll write more about that very soon.
May you all stay healthy and safe. Whether you're fighting to save lives in the hospitals, fighting crime or fighting fires, or you're just staying at home to not get infected and spread the virus to others, I appreciate you.