Quiet Streets

I will never forget those weeks in March and April when the street were eerily quiet. I didn’t think it was possible for New York to be so quiet.

No cars idling beneath our window. No drunk students coming home after hours at the bar. No children on their way to school. It felt like the block had floated off into the clouds, disconnected from the rest of the city. Except the sirens. The sounds of the ambulances were the only thing that tethered the block to the rest of the world. I waited the sirens to stop in front of my building.

Those first quiet weeks were hardest. Hundreds of my fellow New Yorkers were dying of Covid and everyone and everything seemed contaminated. Every night at 7pm people would open their windows and bang pots and pans to show their appreciation for the front line workers. It mostly made me want to cry.

It felt like the rest of America had abandoned NYC. When the twin towers fell, the world sent their thoughts and prayers. But when NYers were dying so fast that bodies were loaded into refrigerated trucks, when footage of endless graves being dug on Hart Island were all over the news, when a field hospital was set up in Central Park, the rest of America did not care. It was a problem for those overcrowded idiots in the sanctuary.

I knew Covid was coming for the rest of America. Just a mater of time. I don’t know exactly why people in other states could not take what was happening in NYC as a warning. They certainly believed terrorists could show up in their town in 2001.