Ghost Time

Seeing the city that – supposedly – never sleeps totally empty is an experience I didn’t think I’ll ever have, but thanks to these horrible circumstances we face in the world right now, everything turned upside down.

The perception of time is a tricky concept, especially now. Our lives are on pause: people are unable to go out, all the stores, restaurants, bars are closed and the world has just stopped for a while. But while I expected that pausing would mean time moves more slowly, on the contrary, it just got out of control. One day blurs into the next and being trapped inside, we are not able to go and fill our lives with meaningful experiences. We try to spend our time home as useful and eventful as possible, but we just can’t replace the substance of the experiences that lie outside of our doors.

Last weekend, I had to sneak out and see with my own eyes how the city looks now. We put on our masks and walked – as far from other people as we could – into Manhattan. It was a shocking experience. SoHo, Broadway, 5th Avenue – usually places packed with people, now echoing only our footsteps. We could only see small groups of people in Central Park, but then we decided it was enough of an experience for that day, and we headed home.

Although our day felt way longer than it usually does nowadays, it was a one-time trip. We should all stay home, be safe and keep the distance from others. I guess that is the least we can do to help all the heroes who tirelessly try to save us all. In order to have everything back to normal as soon as possible, we have to sit in our own little time traps for just a little longer.


Ákos Orbán


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