2020 was a confusing and disorienting year, its effects still bleeding into 2021 and likely for the rest of our lives and the younger generations.
When I think of NYC I consider this photo from Spring/2020, Broadway and 10th Street on a Saturday, just completely gutted. I rode my bike downtown from Central Park and the entire city was a shell, an empty space. I know it’ll bounce back, but having lived through the epicenter of the pandemic, the fear, people’s lives upended by Covid, it’s going to take a while. I moved to Brooklyn 5 months before the Twin Towers were struck and collapsed on 9/11 and I moved out during the pandemic. We make these connections and form narratives around events big and small, but it’s hard not to see how curious and challenging and strange life can be. We have to constantly transition and change.
I like what Charles Yu wrote in The Atlantic about the Covid-19 pandemic:
What the current crisis and our responses to it, both individual and institutional, have reminded us of is not the unreality of the pandemic, but the illusions shattered by it:
The grand, shared illusion that we are separate from nature.
That life on Earth is generally stable, not precarious.
That, despite what we know from the historical and geological and biological record, human civilization—thanks to advancements in science and medicine and social and governmental structures—exists inside a bubble, protected from the kind of cataclysmic event we are currently experiencing.
My family and I absconded to New Mexico where it’s cheaper to live, the quality of life is high, and where we could take stock of the shattering illusions, of how industries are changing, how remote and wfh opportunities might work for us, and also see if we could fill up the empty space this pandemic has created.