Tag is exactly neighborhood
2020-03-17I remember exactly the day before they shut down workplaces and college on Tuesday St Patrick's day I went out to go eat dinner with my friends at Outback Steakhouse and we were all saying how everything will be shutting down and how this will be a one month thing, like in a joking manner, I even went to cancel my gym membership and all that just incase without knowing what was to come after. School went online, I got a call from work that they were closing for awhile until they allowed dine-in again and they did not do take out at all, so there was no work at all for my coworkers or myself. School then was shut down for 2-3 weeks while they transitioned online which was a weird thing for both professors and students to get adjusted to. Then walking outside in Bay Ridge and not seeing 86st full of people and just looking like a ghost town area which was just a scary sight to see. All of this was just weird and kind of stressful, because there was no work at that moment, no hanging out with friends as much as you would want to or seeing family and then seeing your neighborhood go from busy to empty was a weird sight to see. Not being able to see friends or family for a long time really affected me seeing them online games or on social media helped, but it was not the same as seeing them in person. I did not have that many bills to pay off at that time, but not having a job worried me a bit when it came to paying phone bill and other items.
2021-12-07Next day after Covid-19 booster shot, I woke up with body aches. First, I thought it was booster reaction, but later on I Was detected by Covid-19 positive. At the same day my leg sprained, wow what a coincidence! It was really an unpleasant day for me. I knew I have to be strong enough to fight with this situation. I received IV to treat Covid at the same day. My Covid symptoms were coughing a lot and loss of food tase and smell. I continued to pray and read the Quran. Initially, I had to stay in quarantine for 14 days. These 14 days were like 14 months to me. I will never forget these isolated period of Covid-19. I was trying to continue my household chores. After 19 days later my Covid result came negative. At that time, I felt like a free hummingbird. I believe that Allah gives us burdens according to our endurance. I probably wouldn't survived if I had Covid early in the pandemic. I am sincerely for those who were died in this Corona period. I thank Allah for giving me a new life as well as modern science and medical fields.
2020-03-20The pandemic changed our lives completely. I believe that thanks to that we learned to value life more and especially personal and global hygiene. This challenge was enormous, the pandemic changed our perspective on things, this did not put us on a tightrope where no one knows what was going to happen where everything was uncertain. But I think we have overcome a large part although we are not free from anything.
2020-06-04The operation will take only a few minutes. I don my mask and slip the gloves and pruning shears into my back pocket and take to the streets. Walking briskly, I pass a row of 1900s brownstones, each with a small garden plot in front. On this block the specialty is roses, and every home seems to have a different variety growing. Towards the corner, there is a house with its iron gate ajar, and an overstuffed mailbox by the front door. I had already removed two small bags of garbage and moldering cardboard and a crushed toy fire helmet from the front yard, and also ripped out a row of mugwort that was blocking the big rosebush. I don’t know what variety they are – a peach-colored hybrid, with massive blooms that bent the rose stalks down. I deadhead the big old roses and the stalks spring up, attempting to gash my face. One does nick my arm, and I wipe the blood off on my mask, not thinking that I have left a red splotch of blood in its center, like a tiny pair of lips. Pretty soon I have collected about thirty roses – all massive and past their prime and bring them home in a plastic bag I brought with me. I don’t think anyone would mind, and I am sure the person who planted these roses doesn’t mind. A hybrid rose plant like this needs a lot of tending, but the blooms are enormous. As part of my quarantine routine, I take walks in the early morning. After a while, I got tired of seeing weeds hiding the “nice” plants and began reflexively pulling them. It was fun! Especially after a rainfall, when the weeds pulled out so effortlessly. After a few minutes work I would have a sheaf of shepherd’s purse, lambsquarter and mugwort under my arm. Fortunately, there is always an empty construction yard in our rapidly developing neighborhood, and that’s where most of my weeding crop ends up, lobbed over the green construction fence. Nobody has ever bothered me, except for the times older women will ask if I eat the weeds. Since the trees planted by the city have little tags on them that give tips on how to take care of them, including one that instructs citizens to keep the tree pits free of weeds, I consider that my carte blanche. “I work for Bette Midler!” I want to tell somebody, but nobody asks. Some houses show evidence that they were owned by gardeners that took a lot of pride in their plants but abandoned them this year. I see mugwort and lambsquarter cropping up in beds of well-tended plants –gardens that might have received some care earlier in the season but, for some reason, have been untouched these past few months. I reach over and – yank –problem solved. I know they would do it, if they were able. One home I pass by regularly had an infestation of mugwort that covered some nice lilies and other shrubs. After a few days I had cleared all the mugwort out, and stopped by every so often to rip the tiny mugwort sprouts that persisted – some of the roots are tough, baseball-sized clumps that live for years, and you often find odd things wound up in them like bottle caps and corks. This past week, our local news had the notice of the death a Haitian doctor in our neighborhood of longstanding repute, who had died of COVID-19. For the obituary, they showed not a photo of the man, but of his doctor’s office, which was the old house where I had been waging my war against mugwort. So many have died in our neighborhood – so many gentle people who once sunned themselves in front of their houses and apartment buildings and maintained the cheery tradition of saying hello to all neighbors. When they moved here, Flatbush was cheap, and a family from Trinidad or Guyana could buy decent homes for an affordable price, in what was then a highly unfashionable neighborhood. The untended gardens of my older neighbors are hard to miss, when you know what to look for. “Maybe they just went out of state, you don’t know,” say my kids, when I showed them the peach-colored rose bush I had been surreptitiously tending. They were horrified, and nervous that I was breaking a law. My daughter even closed and latched the small iron gate, while sternly looking at me, warning that I could get arrested, or worse. But I’ll be back. Those roses need me.