A few weeks into New York City’s Shelter in Place order during the global coronavirus pandemic I began a note on my phone entitled “Things I’ll remember from this time.” I started adding items in the coming days, weeks and then months because I know I’ll never forget this period of my life – nearly 120 days largely confined to my studio apartment – but I knew there would be small things I may not remember and would want to.
I thought I’d share with you all my list in the hope that it inspires you to keep a record of what you’ve experienced, what you’ve endured.
Things I’ll Remember from The Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020:
The weekly hangouts with friends and family.
The persistent gray and rainy days.
All the baking.
The joy of seeing my friends faces more often.
The joy of seeing my friends children’s faces more often.
The joy of seeing my family’s faces more often.
The joy of finding new ways to connect.
The joy of reconnecting.
The light and hope provided by my first niece’s birth during the pandemic.
The empty streets.
The walks down the middle of the empty streets.
The rainbows in the windows.
The encouraging signs on doors lifting one another’s neighbors up.
The overwhelming appreciation for spring’s blooms.
The many, many neighborhood walks.
The acts of kindness.
The support system.
Reconnecting with acquaintances and old friends.
How easy it was to become low maintenance.
The absolute absence of alarm clocks.
Starting to do video content creation.
Learning to make all sorts of cocktails; The creation of my Let’s Make a Drink series.
The feeling of making it work at all costs.
Making workouts work in small spaces.
Making grocery shopping shlepping work.
The heaviness of wearing a mask.
The discomfort of wearing a mask.
The sadness of not being able to see smiles behind masks.
The heartbreak of seeing everyone’s faces covered in masks.
The wearing of gloves.
The difficulty of doing laundry.
The anxiety about going to the pharmacy.
The difficulty and anxiety with grocery shopping.
The grocery store lines.
The grocery store empty shelves.
Having to wipe down everything that came into the house.
The constant heightened anxiety.
The chest tightness.
The deep breathing.
The stressful dreams.
The gratitude for New Yorkers coming together.
The gratitude for frontline and essential workers.
The gratitude for my wit & whimsy community keeping me company.
The new perspective as I turned another year older.
The new perspective on every day things in life great and small.
The new perspective on freedom.
The new perspective on embracing life in new ways when this time has passed.
The collapsing into bed and crying.
The anger at those being cavalier, ignorant and arrogant.
The anger at the lack of control, guidance and assistance from the federal government.
The anger at the President. For his inability to care, inability to protect and inability to lead.
The noise. Of helicopters. Of sirens. Of birds chirping. Of voices previously oppressed. Of Cuomo’s guidance. Of Fauci’s warnings. Of chants. Of togetherness. Of cheering for healthcare heroes.
Crying for lives lost.
Crying for healthcare heroes.
Crying for jobs lost.
Crying for normalcy gone.
Crying for all the uncertainty.
Crying for plans erased.
Crying for missing hugs.
Crying for missing family.
Crying for missing friends.
Crying for missing NYC.
Crying for missing LIFE.
. . .
The past few months we’ve all endured so many emotions. So much loss. We’ve had much to endure. We’ve had much to mourn.
I sincerely hope we don’t have to have shelter in place orders come this Fall (and I am praying for a vaccine) but should that time come again (and I do believe it will) it is my belief we’ll all be a bit better equipped to handle it as we remember what we’ve all endured – apart and yet together. Sending each of you, my wonderful readers, a virtual hug.