Date is exactly 2020-03-17
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.
2020-03-17Growing up, everyones dream is for school to be permanently closed. If you are not in school then your dream going to bed every night is for your work-place to be closed. Just hanging out at home watching movies and playing video games or painting or doing nothing but your favorite hobbies seems like the perfect life. This is what everyone had thought until it actually happened, but with a very, very negative twist. Even though it was not too long ago, to this exact date and for the rest of my life I will remember when this "dream lifestyle" became a horrible reality. After hearing my professors say that class might be moved onto zoom for 2 weeks and hearing my boss say that the catering hall might be closing for approximately the same amount of time, it hit me that this was going to be very, very bad. I remember being 16 years old in the heart of New York City with my friends saying that never could I imagine times square empty at any costs. Without having a hint, this was coming to an unfortunate fruition. Everyday life had become class or assignments on my laptop in the morning, then going for a long walk, then playing video games or watching tv the rest of the day. No physical contact with any other humans outside of my household. Groceries were being delivered straight from the store and it seemed this was an endless repeating cycle, simply sitting there waiting for positive news and updates. I will say that with my personal experience, I am extremely fortunate that I did not have nearly the negative time that a high percentage of people had. I believe that the reason why it was so strange was because of the sudden halt of our routines and lifestyle. During this time, I took time to reflect on everything but also to embrace and make the most of the situation. As I previously stated, I am very fortunate to go through this time with not much tragedy. I was going for long walks with the family members in my household and also bonding with friends through video games. I was learning more about stocks, cooking, fitness/health as a whole, and more. However, I do remember my father coming home everyday from 16 hour shifts for weeks being exhausted because he is a funeral director. He would come home and tell us how he was seeing first-hand something he has never seen before and what he was seeing in terms of the deaths from COVID19. This story is important to me because while I was finding positives through this tough time, it put into perspective how many, many people were going through the complete opposite with extremely tough times. A big life lesson that I learned is that even if you are finding positives in something and doing well personally, it is essential to take a step back and try to do more for the people going through tough times. This applies through every single day of life and every aspect.
2020-03-17What did my neighborhood looked like during the first phase of the New York State lockdown. How my neighbors responded to the crisis
2020-03-17I was exposed to the Coronavirus almost immediately after the initial outbreak. I was already feeling sick in the middle of March. I felt a constant throbbing in my throat, sometimes I would wake up to a burning feeling in my lungs and felt pressure as though someone was standing on top of my chest. The first two weeks straight, I went from freezing cold to burning hot every few minutes, accompanied by a constant throbbing headache. The most menial of tasks would cause shortness of breath and my heart to pump excessively. I honestly felt I was going to die. After about a month, my breathing became less labored. In three months, I felt I recovered enough to start exercising again. By exercise, I mean the ability to walk a few blocks without having the wind knocked out of me. I began checking in with my family and found out that I had lost over 30 family members in Ecuador. I also lost a coworker, who was one of the kindest people you could meet and who was loved by her students. The amount of horrible and depressing individual stories of my family dying are too much to repeat, so I will say if there was ever a living nightmare, it was experienced by them. If I could describe what living through hell is like, I would say that it is the last six months of my life. Americans, as a whole, could have done better. To the people who have pretended that nothing is wrong, you deserve everything that is coming to you and I have absolutely no pity.