The Hustle and Bustle That Went Naught

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The Hustle and Bustle That Went Naught

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This story is nothing that many of you may not be familiar with, notably of those in metropolitan-like areas. Plus, I can not say that this story is anything deeply descriptive and the likes thereof, but it certainly had an impact on someone like me (along with others) that live in a city, notably if you are especially in or around New York City, the city that never sleeps. What brings me back to this? Well, not exactly the link that I provided that actually shows (at the time of course) a live-time recording of midtown Manhattan and its eerie sound, which is paradoxically a "sound" of a hovering-like quiescent stillness of keen silence (but a silent ambiance that was somewhat peculiarly enchanting) . Or rather, as the title alludes to, a sound that was "naught".

At the time, it became so normal if you will (especially around 40 days since the lockdown went into effect), that it became a coincidentia oppositorum of sorts. One might ask, where is such a "unity of opposites" in effect whereby this was simply a "change" in the dynamics of your "said" environment? To start, the Newark (NJ) area is nothing BUT a concoction of familiar and somewhat pleasing noise as I sit in my half-airconditioned room, from the constant sound of public transportation busses passing by and their intrinsic slight familiar screeching stop, the talk of those a few floors down walking the streets, the constant sound(s) of cars flowing by, the sound of the famous pathway train into NYC in the faint distance (though it stops at Jersey City first), those at the corners (as inappropriate as it may sound) calling out that they got "x, y, and z" near Broad and Market Street, so forth and so on, to "almost" nothing! It was like something straight out of the novel Brave New World and other such pally stories of the sort. To me and many others around our surrounding areas, this was a moment in history that stood out, one that I can not recall in similarity since Tuesday, September 11th. 2001. Because the unity of these non-coherent opposites is in the simple fact that the innate aspect of a pandemic lockdown of a such magnitude as we had is quite obviously "silence" if you will, which is the opposite of what is immersed in a city of almost 300,000 (and that is of course not including the amount of citizens in neighboring metro-areas both east, north, and south of my location), nevertheless, they formed one coherent form of a dialectical force. Because it soon became a "norm" and it happened at quite an expedient rate in the larger scheme of things. Nothing was more "quiet" and "surreal" then the tragic events of 9/11, as it did not take some time for a similar situation to occur, as the event was so dynamic that everything I am speaking of happened at once, but and more importantly, day by day the city quickly gained back its ingrained normative environment. But the reason I arbitrarily picked the date of 5/1/2020, rather then use the date of the article, is because it was in early May where this began to slowly engulf me and took me back to one quite sunny day around noon (maybe a tad later), where all of this, "all of this" being that of what I speak of, struck me finally as something transformative (but far less than cathartic to say the least).

I hope you enjoyed my little tidbit of what kind of impact COVID had on me (be it a self-like precept, photograph, video, etc...), particular using my experience in a sensory course of description. Sure, there was obviously other aspects that came into play with COVID-19 that eventually impacted us, but most of them were later on as the days moved by, while rather this experience was the first and the one that will stick with me anytime I think back to the pandemic. And the beauty of it, or rather lack thereof, all happened while simply sitting near my bed (hence against the window) while putting on my prosthetic legs.

Cheers to you all!

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news article

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New York Times

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This item was submitted on August 22, 2022 by Brendan Brock using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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