Letter from New York: Day 14

Early morning run to the store for some items — pasta, sauce, bread, rice, and of course coffee. Surgical gloves litter the sidewalks. People don’t have the wherewithal to throw them in the fucking garbage. They will rot there on the sidewalk being that no one is going to touch them. It’s like an obstacle course of light blue surgical gloves and discarded masks. At the grocery store, at 6:45am, there’s an EDP at the check out counter going on a tirade about how the Chinese are ‘fucking animals’ who ‘boil cats alive’ and ‘who don’t believe in God’. Naturally I kept more than 6 feet from this idiot as I waited to pay for my items. Finally, he climbs off his soapbox and stands aside so I could.

Now that I got that out of the way, I will remain indoors, being that nothing has changed and in fact has gotten worse. The infection rate in New York City is 8-10 times higher than in any other part of the country. New York is effectively shut down, closed. The streets are empty and hardly anyone is out and about, which is a good thing. The apex hasn’t hit yet and when it does, it’s going to be brutal. This is my 14th day at home now. I’ve only stepped out to make store runs, which take all but 10-15 minutes. Then I come home and scrub my hands like someone suffering from OCD.

The latest — apparently the Texas Lt. Governor said that people should be willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the economy, including himself (which you know is total bullshit). Brit Hume of Fox News said it was ‘a reasonable viewpoint’. This is the face of those whose ideology is so all consuming that they lose their humanity. Our elders and sick should be sacrificed for the good of the market. I guess ‘The Greatest Generation’, who freed the world from fascism and the nightmare of Nazism, got us through the Great Depression, aren’t so ‘great’ to these folks. They are now ‘old and in the way’. I’m not surprised we have a contingent of so-called ‘patriots’ who feel this way. Fuck these people. Sorry mom, dad, grandpa, grandma — my portfolio is tanking. Off you go.’ Fucking disgusting.

So I will hunker down, keep informed of the latest, work on the novel, read, and just take each day as it comes. This nightmare can’t — and won’t — last forever. We all just have to be patient, and not lose our humanity in the process.

Julian Gallo is the author of 'The Penguin and The Bird', 'Last Tondero In Paris', 'Existential Labyrinths' and other novels. He lives and works in New York City. The essay "Day 14" was originally posted as a series of tweets @JulianGallo66

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