”It’s under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others”.
On this post I will share my experience during Covid-19 in the USA. New York and New Jersey were both considered the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in America. New York City is the Port of Entry for many immigrants from all over the world, one of the most famous tourist destination worldwide, center of the world economic disitrict and the most densely populated city in America (28,317/sq mi or 10,933/km2). New Jersey, and especially Hudson County, shares border with the big apple, in which many people commute everyday to their dream jobs.
It all started on March 16th, 2020, when our company offered us to work remotely while the rest of the country was getting ready for an unprecedented lockdown. I must admit that at the beginning it was a thing happening in the faraway China. In spite of seeing the tremendous impact of the virus in Asia, I’ve never thought it was going to spread around the world in such an astonishing viral way. From the beginning of the year, I started to be more cautious whenever I was going to the city, taking simple measures like using a sanitizer whenever I would ride the path or subway, avoiding to open public doors directly with my hands among other things. However, in December, on my way back from a short visit to Spain, I got terribly sick. I had a flu for a couple of weeks in which it was called the Spanish flu by my office members. That’s when you realize how important it is to stay well and healthy at all times.
A week before total lockdown, I went for the last time to the city that never sleeps. I must say that it was quite shocking to see people wearing a face mask in public. Back then it was a bit creepy, now it’s the new normal. Things have changed dramatically in a very short time. It’s not that the virus was not here already, it’s that people now are more aware of the real danger that this virus represents for all of us. Although, having to work from home was a real challenge for most companies, we had adapted very well to the remote system. I feel more productive as I don’t have the daily commute to work. Something that was unimaginable not long ago, now it has become a reality that might continue in the future. Even though I feel comfortable working remotely, I miss socializing with my coworkers as well as the lunch breaks and other activities we would do together. Every year we would celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the office with tacos, margaritas and lots of joy and happiness. This year we had a virtual happy hour to celebrate our much loved celebration for this Mexican holiday.
On the other hand, the Covid-19 Quarantine brought families closer than ever. Now, we get to make more meaningful connections with our family and friends, and have all the time we complained about not having before for the things we enjoy doing the most. Before Quarantine, I would always be elsewhere in The City exploring a new place. Now I take the chance to write about all the good times I had so far and share them on this blog. Other activities during my quarantine weekends include sketching some of the places I visited, reading the books that were left unfinished, watching the whole series of Friends, practicing yoga, playing rummikub or getting introduced to Japanese origami. Even though spring has passed by in the blink of an eye, we had a magnificent blooming season. Working with a marvelous view of a cherry blossom on my window makes me hopeful that better days are coming. As in other European countries, we cheer our frontline workers every day at 7pm. It has become a social gathering between the neighbors from the area. We somehow compromise on showing up daily, more hopeful, joyful and resilient than the day before to celebrate the efforts and hard work of our essential workers. It’s a beautiful feeling that despite all the social distancing, we connect with each other more than ever before. Gradually, we’ve been able to go outside a little bit more. I couldn’t be happier to be able to go for a walk on the Waterfront Walkaway of Hoboken and enjoy the skyline of Manhattan. Keeping the 6 feet social distance and wearing a face mask is already the new standard, and with summer around the corner it’s getting even harder to be indoors. Against all odds, there is light at the end of the tunnel!