Quarantine day??? Just kidding, it’s day 26 for us here in NYC. Things are progressively weirder everyday. The good news from NYC (even though I am trying to avoid the news lately) is it seems that even though the rate of death is increasing, the rate of hospitalization is decreasing. Which hopefully means social distancing is working. Obviously, even if it is working, I know we will keep having to do it. But truthfully, I’ve been struggling the last two days with the concept of having to stay inside until June. On one hand I feel immensely selfish, as we have our health (and I really think we had coronavirus already by the way) Also, by the way, if you clink the word way (or any other word in this post that is a slightly different colour, it has a hyperlink to an article which explains something in greater detail usually, with a source. I think people probably know how to use a hyperlink, but just clarifying!
Anyways, on the other hand I don’t feel selfish at all as my life, as well as everyone else’s of course, was completely uprooted. I crave wearing my work clothes, and going to my office. I miss starbucks and our regular sushi place. I’ve caved and ordered bubble tea twice, but it’s not the same as being able to walk into the store and get it. I miss going to see my parents, or them coming here and seeing us. I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with me, I’m working it out in therapy, but I get really anxious around dinner time and especially eating out/restaurants. I really miss restaurants though. And traveling, oh god. London, which is usually a hop skip and a short 6 hour flight away feels ungraspably far. Yes, I know that’s not a real word, but it feels that way. My heart aches for my second home.
The weather hasn’t helping of course. Besides being trapped in our 800 (?) square apartment, our rooftop has closed and so has our gym. I think the gym is understandable, but I really feel upset about the roof. We don’t live in a large building, it has 100 units, but they’re not all occupied. In fact, our across the hall neighbors moved out on Wednesday. We only had been up on the roof once since we’ve been in quarantine, for an evening drink before dinner, but it was nice to get the fresh air without having to walk through the streets. It was my intention to use the roof more once it got warmer out, to read books, or jump rope, or even when it got to June/July (if we’re still stuck at home) to lay out and get a little sun!
I read an article (okay, I know I say that a lot) that a lady in London was arrested for “mentally exercising” by sitting alone on a park bench. I think that’s very unfair. As I do understand we are meant to be inside, I also think that people who cannot walk or run or bike, or even need to be outside and get fresh air and don’t have a backyard to go, should be able to sit outside for an hour a day, While maintaining social distancing of course. As someone who struggles greatly with mental health, and has no outside option, I would appreciate being able to be outside for an hour a day and not feel like I need to aimlessly wander for “exercise”.
I find the streets very empty around here. I walked to central park twice last week, in decent weather, and found it to be a much more pleasant experience. I saw enough people that I no longer felt the vast emptiness and desolateness of NYC, but was still able to socially distance easily. I am thankful our dear Governor Cuomo has not closed our parks. I actually don’t think I would be able to cope. When I was in the park, I didn’t walk near the field hospital though, because I think it would have scared me too much.
The weather though, quite frankly, has been shite. We had a few years of having no spring, and going straight to humid and 95 degrees, but I really feel like the last two years we had spring. I think this year will be no different. We will have a late spring (hopefully no more snow) and hopefully come around to a nice summer we can enjoy. While watching London have 75 degree weather and sun today, and everyone out having bbqs in their backyards, we sat through 45 degree weather, with snow and hail. We tried to manage a walk today, which was a dumb idea. I don’t know how windy it was exactly, but it was really really windy and cold. My ears actually hurt when I came in.
Instead, we came back in and finished Tiger King, which we had been watching for the last two weeks. Highly recommend. We still are trying not to watch TV in the middle of the day, so it’s just been an episode or two at night. And we also are in the last season of Mad Men. I had seen it before, but never watched it all the way through. We are currently watching the Good Liar, the film, as I write, which my parents watched today and highly recommended (and I had on a list that I wanted to see too). I also have two episodes left of Sherlock, on netflix. Which has been phenomenal. I had never seen Benedict Cumberbatch in anything, and I had seen the Sherlock movies with Robert Downey Jr. I loved how RDJ played Sherlock, but Benedict takes the cake for me. He’s incredible.
I also have been reading a good amount. I managed 7 books in March, which feels like a good record for me. I am making slower pace in April, I always read through my long list on Amazon in reverse order, and I buy the books online so I can read on my kindle app on my phone. However, the last book I read and the one I am currently reading, were(are) both about 500 pages, small print, and from the 80’s and I couldn’t get them online. I have a newfound appreciation for technology, as it is SO hard to get comfortable with a book while wearing my glasses. As I have been trying to adjust to my work schedule, after three weeks of no remote access and no sleeping schedule, I have been falling asleep reading every night early.
Both books are both true crime. The first one, Our Guys was about the rape of a mentally incapacitated teenage girl in a seemingly perfect small New Jersey suburban neighborhood. While I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started, I found a thirty year old book that reminded me exactly, to a tee, of the Brock Turner case. (That’s right, I am STILL furious over that). While it was not an individual, but an entire town that perpetuated the belief that “boys will be boys”, we “can’t ruin their lives because of a mistake” etc., it was a fascinating comment on how NOTHING has changed in thirty years in rape cases. Instead of anyone believing the mentally incapacitated girl, (whom the author referred to as retarded throughout the entire book as her IQ was below 60 and it was written in the late 80’s early 90’s and was not seen as a derogatory word, I struggled to read it and not cringe every time) everyone istead believed the popular, poorly behaved athletic boys who all basically ratted on each other and couldn’t keep their stories straight. The case eventually went to trial, and the four defendants were tried together, each with a separate attorney. One of the attorney’s strategies was never to talk about the brutal rape, but instead focus on the defendant and her “sexual inclinations” and even portraying her as a “lolita”. Not to ruin the book, (close your eyes TJBM it’s coming to you ASAP!) but spoiler alert, she’s not a Lolita(which I had to google). She was lured in under false pretenses by boys that she perceived as her friends and 20 of them stood around, penetrating her with different objects and the town couldn’t handle the fucking truth.
Sorry for the rant, but thirty years later it still is a relevant, infuriating read. Highly recommend. The other book I’m reading, and only about 100 pages in, but I am finding fascinating, is The Minds of Billy Milligan. Billy Milligan was the first person who was found not guilty by insanity because of his multiple personalities (also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder). I am really enjoying reading this well, as I am finding it informative and even a bit fascinating.
So I’m trying to keep busy, but basically, what I’m trying to say, is it’s also a struggle. It feels like especially in NYC, although I know everyone is affected everywhere across the globe. It’s been a struggle to be inside so far from my family. It’s been a struggle with Dave and I both on calls all day for work in the living room. It’s been a struggle going to the grocery store, not being able to regularly see doctors, friends, etc. It’s hard to read the news everyday and see how many people in NYC are struggling and dying, especially in communities in Queens.
I am trying to stay positive, but finding it hard the past few days. I wrote letters to family, each with a different positive quote in there and the love I received back was astounding. I felt very happy that something so small could cheer people up so much. I also have been trying to cut my screen time, in terms of instagram and facebook, but focus mainly on amazon and other online shopping sites (just to browse and get outfit and house inspiration). Definitely pinterest too. My mom also posts a positive quote on facebook every morning and I look forward to those immensely.
I wonder often how America got to this point. And I think about places like New Zealand, where after lockdown, they only had one single death in the country. Obviously New Zealand is a lot smaller, but the Jacinda Ardern, the PM has been an absolutely phenomenal leader in a time of uncertainty and crises.
Sounds like it’s time for a woman to be in charge of the “United” States of America.
Stay safe my dear readers, & till next time