Eye of the Storm

March 25, 2020 at 8:48 am (By Amba) (, , )

It is surreal being “in the city but not of it.'” I’m reading about the trouble beyond my walls same as you. I have no direct experience so far of the crisis reportedly overwhelming NYC’s health care facilities. I’m sitting here in my timeless little apartment in the middle of white silence, like Dorothy when her house was spinning through the air. I wouldn’t be surprised to look out my window and see Margaret Hamilton pedaling by.

Someone I saw 11 days ago has had symptoms for 6 days. It sounds just like the CV but so far he’s not sick enough to get tested, may it stay that way. We met outdoors on a windy day and we both felt healthy. I still do and am optimistic that I’m virus free, but concerned about him. He’s not old enough to be high-risk but has had a load of stress.

I sometimes help a friend in her mid–late 80s in the neighborhood (who also lives alone in a 4-story walk-up) with shopping or doctor appointments when she can’t get an aide. She has a fresh leg injury (a calf muscle tear from a cramp in her sleep? the timing could not be worse) and what appears to be a worsening infection. She’s at risk of falling, has an alert button. Her twice-a-week aide took a photo of the leg and she got an emergency supply of antibiotics, which make her feel sick. She’s trying to get into a rehab facility but, depending on the delay, may need me to shop and bank for her. Other friends normally help her too, but I’m the last one left now who’s still in the city, healthy, and mobile.

Online live karate classes 3x a week from the empty, shining Karatedo Honma Dojo are already a lifeline, bringing refreshment and structure to what could otherwise slump into a shapeless, listless mess. It’s so much easier to ride a wave of group energy from an inexhaustible ocean of tradition than to impose discipline on oneself. I even vacuum beforehand to make the space worthy, which makes it a lot nicer the rest of the time.

1 Comment

  1. wj said,

    As someone who normally works from home anyway, and isn’t exactly a social butterfly, it doesn’t feel like much has changed for me either. On the perhaps one occasion a week I go out (maybe to shop, maybe to pick up take-out), I do notice that there’s nobody on the streets. But other than that? It just seems like any other day.

    The closest I’ve personally had to an impact is that I’m not getting family reports on Spring Training. My sister was planning on going from her home west of Seattle down to Phoenix for a few weeks to watch; that got cancelled, of course. But other than that? Well, there’s the flood of emails and commercials, but nothing else.

    I can hope for the best for those I know. But it’s all a bit abstract.

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