What do you do when the city that never sleeps, slept? Well, really, the whole world has halted during this extraordinary time. I mean, how do I even begin putting thoughts and emotions into words? I think the only thing that gives me solace is that we are all experiencing this together. This is one event where we are all on the same playing field. You understand my fears, my thoughts and my frustrations because you’re going through the same thing.
How quickly normal life turned into a new normal. The new normal being one of empty shelves in supermarkets and drugstores; people panicking and stockpiling toilet paper and other supplies; massive queues to get into Costco or the supermarket; businesses shuttered; schools shut; workers who still have a job all working from home and the list goes on. The world economy has abruptly stopped, the stock markets plunging at an unprecedented rate.
On 12 March, I stepped outside to go food shopping, not realizing the chaos that I was walking into. The queue to Trader Joe’s was ridiculous, so I walked to the other supermarket and while there was no queue to get in, the queue to checkout was snaked around the aisles. I ended up going to the more expensive supermarket and bought a few things. I haven’t set foot in a supermarket since and will soon need to go and just buy some fresh veggies or something. I’m not looking forward to this trip, much less standing in a queue when you’re meant to be social distancing. It’s honestly so easy to get paranoid these days and I’m definitely feeling that paranoia when I need to go outside.
There are no cold and flu meds available at my drugstores, so God forbid I catch the virus, I am not looking forward to the likely fever I will experience. I managed to buy some acetaminophen, so hopefully that will help. I am normally an ibuprofen girl, but after reading that ibuprofen may aggravate the virus, I panicked.
All in all, I am okay minus my random bouts of paranoia and panic. But in all honesty, my life for the most part hasn’t changed. K left New York at the end of January and since he’s been gone, I’ve unintentionally self isolated. My life in February consisted of going for runs, cooking, blogging and dinners at my parents house once a week or so. I wasn’t going out socializing, I wasn’t going shopping. I was definitely laying low. As many of you know, I’ve not worked since I left Singapore and since it’s been a year now since I’ve had a paycheck come in, money is getting tight, as you can imagine. I was in the thick of job hunting when the world broke, so now I have no idea how much longer I’ll be out of a job now, especially with fears of a recession, or even a depression hits. Sigh. So yeah, my only expenses were, and continue to be, the necessities – food shopping.
And oh yeah, I was watching the virus unfold, horrified at what was happening in China. And knowing that it was just a matter of time before it hit our shores.
Well, here we are, bracing for the worst. Hoping that we can avoid the devastating effects of the virus that Italy endured, but in all honesty, I am not hopeful. I hope I am wrong. I won’t get political, but I will say I am impressed that New York’s Governor, Governor Cuomo is doing an amazing job given the cards he has been dealt. If anything, I feel like he’s the driving force behind the US’s response to the pandemic… Anyway.
So even though I have been unintentionally self isolating for quite some time now, I’m not going to lie. I’m getting lonely. I miss talking to people. Having actual conversations whether its an intelligent conversation or a fluffy one. If anything, I really miss fluffy conversations where we can talk stupid shit and laugh. And as much as I love George, I’m not too sure what all his miaows mean!! 😉 And did I tell you, K and I also broke up during this time period? So yeah, there’s that too.
In order to stay sane throughout this, exercise is my saving grace. I am still going for runs but avoiding as many people as I can on the streets, running across the street if I have to. I’m working out from home, I had signed up for Beachbody on Demand back in August of last year, so thank god for that! I’ve also begun writing in my journal again and I’m bullet journaling as well. I’ve obviously dropped the ball on blogging this month, but I’m still around and not going anywhere! 😉
If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll have seen that I
went tried to donate blood last week but was denied because I lived in the UK for 5+ years and the FDA is still worried about mad cow disease. There’s been a plea for blood donors since stocks are dwindling with all the blood drives being cancelled so if you’re a healthy individual, please consider donating blood! So as I was out anyway, I used this opportunity to see for my eyes how empty Grand Central Station was. It’s crazy how quiet it was, the usual buzz of thousands of people rushing for their trains were just a distant memory; train announcements blaring were all silenced. You could hear a pin drop in there.
I decided I’d walk to Times Square and check it out as well since it wasn’t that much further from Grand Central. Usually, I avoid Times Square as most New Yonkers do because it’s just too crowded and it’s not fun. Times Square still had more people than Grand Central but it was eery being there. If you look closely at my picture, you can see Batman there. Sadly, he had no tourist looking to take a picture with him.
It’s hard to say how long this will be our new normal. It’s still early days and we’re probably running on adrenaline but with warmer temps, it’s going to be hard. It’s hard to stomach that we won’t be having al fresco drinks with friends after work, or Sunday brunches and our anticipated vacations, weddings, honeymoons are cancelled… It’s okay to be upset, it’s okay to be angry but have faith that this will end and also realize how lucky we are that we have a roof over our heads and we have food in our kitchens. We have technology to keep in touch with friends and family, I know, not the same, but… And that all our sacrifices now will help end this faster. Fingers crossed…
Tell me, where are you during this pandemic and how are you coping? Also, any Netflix/’reading suggestions?