This is not the NYC update I wanted to post. I wanted to bring you lists of the best restaurants in Manhattan, coolest spots in Washington Heights and other fun stuff.
But this is real life.
The past month has been an absolute roller coaster. In the middle of February, I set off to New York City.
When I got there, everything felt right. Amazing opportunities were coming my way. I was exploring a new neighborhood and a new city. I was living in an Airbnb with a family that I adored.
Things were going great. I was a little bit lonely, but I had the opportunity to visit some family in Connecticut and reconnect with old friends. I was having the time of my life.
But then I watched the news. The Coronavirus made its way to New York with several cases in the city. I was a little alarmed at first and quickly calmed myself.
I knew that I’d be safe since I’m young and healthy. I don’t have to leave the house much for work so I knew that I likely wouldn’t contribute to the spread. Wiping the house down with Clorox wipes became the norm.
I was fine and willing to make the slight adjustments to my lifestyle to make things work. But things started getting a little scarier. Tons of people were panicking and COVID-19 pretty much took over social media.
Saturday morning, somebody who I had somewhat regular contact with was diagnosed with the coronavirus via video chat with her doctor. Since she was not considered “at risk” because of her age and health, she was denied a test from several testing sites. I freaked out and started sanitizing every surface yet again.
Since moving to New York, I began doing more in person meetings. I cleared my schedule. I made plans to hunker down and ride it out.
Later that afternoon I called home and my previously unconcerned parents said it might be best to come home before there is a lock down.
I called a COVID-19 hotline. They said based on the description of my contact with potentially infected person I should be fine to travel as long as I wash my hands regularly and keep a safe distance from others.
I booked a flight less than 24 hours out and began to pack all of my stuff.
I hadn’t been out much in over a week so I wasn’t sure what sort of behavior to expect at the airport. About half of the people were wearing masks and/or gloves. Everybody was hyperaware of every cough and sneeze.
As of right now, I have no idea what the next few months are going to look like. I don’t think anybody does. I am not scared of the coronavirus wiping out the entire population of the world, but I am not loving this looming sense of uncertainty.
I’m very grateful for the flexibility of my career. I’m very grateful for my short month in Manhattan.
I met some amazing people, ate some amazing food and created some great memories.
Once the dust settles from this pandemic pandemonium, perhaps I’ll head back to New York.
If you need me, I’ll be in my room for the next 14 days self-quarantining just in case.