The mayor of New York City is insisting the entire city go on lockdown.
The governor of New York is refusing.
Manhattan is two hours away. I was just there three months ago, watching “Hadestown” after meeting up with Makhieba in a Danish cafe for the first time in three years.
Only one month later, the Coronavirus had already hit the United States.
The Louvre is closed. Broadway is dark. Harvard shut its doors for the first time since its opening in 1636. The NBA season is over. NCAA isn’t playing March Madness. Canadians can’t go to hockey games. Paddy’s celebrations are cancelled everywhere (or postponed, in Peoria, Il.) The governors of Illinois and Ohio today ordered the temporary closing of all restaurants. Countries have shut their borders. Africa has turned the tables and forbidden European visitors. Certain states are in lock-down mode. Italians are in the strictest movement since World War II, when they were bombed under a Fascist regime. Residents of China have been filmed walking the streets in hazmat suits and heavy masks. News alerts bombard our mobile devices on the hour. Every single organization you’ve ever permitted your email address is now sending you their response to the world pandemic.
It sounds, simultaneously, like a futuristic sci-fi novel and a history lesson. It’s stepping into Doctor Who’s “Turn Left” or General Hospital’s 2012 water crisis. It’s the setting of George Orwell’s 1984.
Yet, it’s real. It’s happening. As of three hours ago, 80,000 citizens of China are dead from the Coronavirus. It’s everywhere – can’t even pop onto imgur without seeing a Corona-related meme. It’s keeping huggers away. It’s what the introverted have prepared for all along. You may be sick of it by now. But it’s important to not turn a blind eye.