As folk reluctantly settle into this enforced new normal, New Yorkers take in their stride the sight, and the wearing of masks, gloves, bandanas, and scarves. Seeing tents thrown up outside hospitals, in parks, parking lots, arbitrary public spaces and people walking outside in white hazmat suits is regular as Yankee fitteds, and Met throwback jerseys. Strangers helping, cheering on strangers daily––is now beautifully regular.
Deserted streets aren’t scary, but comforting. Resisting to give a worried side-eye to a coughing fellow walker or shopper can be seen as a commendable achievement. Social and physical distancing is not considered rude, but crucial, and essential workers (health care, supermarkets, mail, sanitation, utilities etc.), are the new superheroes movies will (eventually) be made about.