Covid-19: What to Expect When Your City Begins to Recover

You’re so over avoiding people like the plague and the rigorous sanitation game, as you never showed symptoms, no one you know your age had symptoms and none of your family had symptoms. Basically, you are at the point where you know you were exposed and you also know you did not pass anything to anyone. (OK, maybe that was just me.)

But now, you can easily test for anti-bodies; you can do rapid Covid-testing to clear your name — you can finally visit others.

Things start to feel normal-ish…

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Grocery stores are not packed. The parks, post office, pharmacy, and everything else that may have closed for weeks or months, reopen. And the lines are not long.

There’s no longer a shortage of masks or hand sanitizer. You have a friend who has extra Lysol or hand wipes or t.p. if something is short in your neck of the woods — and you can safely see your friends to trade. The community is now allowed to volunteer and help the elderly or otherwise compromised, so you feel useful, not helpless.

You can dine outdoors at restaurants. You can remove your masks at parks when you sit. You can talk to your neighbors or have a small gathering in your backyard. It is summer, and you see family you haven’t seen for 4 or more months, like your parents or your grandparents.

The air is fresh, nature has really flourished and everything is in full bloom. The dog population (and many other pet populations) have multiplied. And seeing pets makes most people happy.

Socialization is back. You are so happy to see life and you think you are done.

The first part is fun. It’s exciting.

There are like 2-3 weeks of fun and exciting.

You thought you were free because…we all behaved so well for so long; we isolated; the numbers went down.

There are about 3 1/2 weeks that New Yorkers can go to any state without quarantining. And then, those states get hit. And then, they cannot come to you.

You thought the virus would peak and then die down. But it waves and waves and waves. And every day brings news of other states peaking, more people dying, more bad economic and social news.

Post re-emergence, you slowly realize the depth and scope of the things we lost.

A lot of people have died.

A lot of businesses have died.

Even as things open up, more things close, more events for late in the year are still being canceled.

And as you are out and about more, you are going to feel weird because you can’t exactly talk to strangers. How do you meet someone new or flirt when you a) cannot see their face b) cannot talk to them c) must be socially distant and d) do not know how a particular stranger feels about conversing at all/making small talk in the age of a highly contagious virus?

So you get a little bit sad all over again — it is summer and people can’t really be people. You can’t be a little fun and messy. The feeling of isolation intensifies, because you feel it in public.

The time will start to get you again. It was three weeks and then a month or so, and now we are used to indefinitely.

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