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Write every day: Coronavirus Log #1

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Phin outside of Canine Styles, his favorite neighborhood store. They had to close due to coronavirus.

Since I’m in NYC, which is currently ground zero of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic, I decided to write daily nighttime logs for a few reasons:

1.) I wanted to give you a glimpse into life here;
2.) What’s happening in NYC now could happen in cities around the country at some point so this might serve as a ray of hope for you to see how someone gets through this;
3.) Some of the information about what’s happening here isn’t accurate so I wanted to give you a first-hand look at life here and someone to whom you can ask questions;
4.) Writing has always helped me to work through difficulty and I expect these weeks and months will be no exception

I don’t know what will come of this set of posts. My hope is that at the end of this that it proves to be fruitless because nothing happens and we quickly resume our daily activities. I don’t think that will be true, and I really hope I’m completely wrong. Time will tell.

I’ll always give you the tough news first, then move into hopeful and helpful moments, and finally give an update on my quarantine buddy—my dog, Phineas. I’ll end with an inspiring quote that helped me today.

So here’s what life’s like for me right now, what I’m thinking, and how I’m feeling:

The sad:

  • The silence is deafening. The usually buzzy, busy energy of our streets has nearly stopped. Right now, the only places open are grocery stores, some bodegas, drug stores, some pet supply stores, medical clinics, and hospitals.
  • Our hospitals are facing a huge amount of pressure. They’re running out of supplies, beds, and equipment. Our healthcare workers are absolute heroes.
  • We are just buying time. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I either already have coronavirus (I have no symptoms) or will get it. I’m hopeful that my symptoms will be mild if it happens because I’m young, healthy, don’t have any pre-existing conditions, have never smoked, and take good care of myself. That said I’m absolutely taking every possible precaution, following all guidelines, sleeping well, eating well, and exercising to stay strong.
  • The $2 trillion Senate bill doesn’t do much for New York. Even though 1/3 of our country’s cases are here and we have 15X the magnitude of the problem than the next state, we’re only getting 0.19% of the aid for the state of New York. I hope this will change. It has to change. We need more help in terms of money and supplies, and we need it now. We have a wonderful governor in Governor Cuomo but he can’t do this alone.

The hopeful:

  • The rate of hospitalization is slowing a bit. This doesn’t mean that cases are going down. It means that right now severe cases requiring hospitalization are coming in more slowly than they were over the last couple of days.
  • New York now has a mental health hotline that provides free counseling sessions thanks to 6,000+ mental health counselors who have stepped forward to help. Call 1-844-863-9314.
  • 40,000 medical volunteers have stepped forward in New York City—the vast majority of them are retired healthcare professionals or healthcare professionals who currently work at places like insurance companies.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel is offering free lodging to all medical professionals working here in New York City.

The helpful:

  • I took some time today to lay down on my yoga mat and listen to Matthew McConaughey read a sleep story through the Calm mobile app’s free programming that they released to help us through this time.
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center is one of our wonderful arts institutions here in the city and in my neighborhood. They have released so many wonderful resources through their website and social media channels, including several full concerts. Today I listened to South African Songbook – Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. My heart sang right along with the music.
  • I wrote a piece today about how biomimicry can help spur innovations that will help ease this pandemic and pandemics in the future. It’s with the editor now and should be published next week. It felt empowering to use my new biomimicry knowledge to write something helpful and hopeful.
  • I can now be seen wildly waving and saying hello to people (from a very safe 6+ foot distance) I’ve never met before; to be honest, I’m just so happy to see anyone in the distance that I’ve decided they’re all my friends.
  • #WhenThisIsOver I’m looking forward to visiting the many museums filled with inspiring, priceless pieces of history and art. I’ve always been in awe of their collections over the years. Now they feel even more precious.

The Phineas update:

  • My 10-year-old dachshund, Phineas, is my quarantine pal. On his afternoon walk today he literally ran to see his favorite store in the neighborhood, Canine Styles. He loves the people who own the store and we regularly go there to say hello and pick up some treats. (The jacket he’s wearing in the picture above is from there.) They have closed because of coronavirus and Phin stood at the darkened doorway and cried. It was heartbreaking.
  • Otherwise, he’s doing well but he certainly misses all of his human and dog pals that he’s so used to seeing every day. He especially misses D is for Doggy, his doggy daycare and second home.
  • He’s more snuggly and cuddly than ever, proving that no matter how much of an expert we are, we can always improve even further.

Inspiring quote of the day:
“If you feel like you’re losing everything, remember that trees lose their leaves every year and they still stand tall and wait for better days to come.” ~Unknown

More tomorrow…

Write every day: Sundance Episodic Lab

I hope you’re all well and safe in these ever-changing times.

I have some good news in the midst of a lot of difficulty: I made it into the second round of the Sundance 2020 Episodic Lab program with a TV pilot that I wrote. I’ll know by August if I’ll be invited to their Lab in October. Just making it to the second round feels wonderful.With all the tough news in my city of New York, this is a bit of light and I’m so grateful.

Special thanks to John Bucher, Script Pipeline, Ruth Sabin, ScreenCraft, Ed Freeman, F.J. Lennon, and Ken Lacovara for their invaluable notes on my scripts and their endless stream of encouragement for my writing.

 

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