NYC 2019 Versus NYC April 2020….Covid

I have been thinking about the changes in New York City in this past year.  Will it ever be the same again? Last year, Thanksgiving 2019, Tina and Ed took the kids to New York City for the first time.  Austin’s birthday was on Dec 1, and he had wanted to see the Lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and the Macy Day Parade. 

Streets are full of Traffic and sidewalks full of people…
The Official Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.  It was lit up the following weekend after they left.

NYC was alive and brilliant with lit up marquis, Christmas lights galore, and lots of people.  The Marquis lights were so full of colors, and flashing the Broadway and TV shows all the way up and down the blocks as far as you could see.  The skyscrapers were towering high above with some of their office lights still on.  The tall beautiful 77 ft Norway Spruce, from Orange County Florida was placed at Rockefeller Center to be the official Christmas tree for the season.  It was 46 ft in diameter and weighed 14 tons.  Christmas lights and displays were everywhere.  The sidewalks were full of bustling busy people with their winter coats and hats, and the streets were full of vehicles including carriages giving tourists rides and policemen directing traffic. They signed up to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, and had to wait till 10PM for a time slot.  They had so much fun.  If you listen, you can almost hear all the noise in the background, the music, car horns, whistles, sirens and all the people laughing and talking. 

Rockefeller Center Skating Rink
Ed and Austin skating in Rockefeller Plaza with the Tree in the Background. 
Austin loves the Pokémon
Macy’s Day Parade….2019

The kids stayed at Crown Plaza on Times Square in Manhattan

Little did anyone know what was about to happen in several months………..

View from Tammy’s’ hotel window at the Marriot Marquis on Times Square in Manhattan

About 5 months later Tammy arrived.  She stayed at the Marriot Marquis also on Times Square in Manhattan, only about a block from where Tina and the kids stayed.   When she arrived the city was shutdown.  Governor Cuomo declared Shelter in Place, and all business closed.  The city that never slept at night grew silent……No traffic, no people on the street, No car noises, no tourists.  The marquis were lite up, but they displayed messages,  ‘Thank You To Our Frontline Nurses”   “Thank You to Our First Responders”.  Tammy had answered the call for RNs to work in NYC.  What a contrast it was from 5 months ago when Tina and the family was their……

Standing in the middle of the street….No people….No traffic

She was assigned to a Bronx Hospital.  The city was reeling in panic.  Covid-19 was infecting people by the thousands.  Many business’s let their employees work from home, otherwise, you simply did not work.  Just think of all the business who employed workers to service and sell to customers.  No work? ….No Money?….You still get bills…..Many business’s closed permanently and people lost jobs.  We all watched NYC from all over the USA.  The virus was starting to travel across the US, but  we never thought it would come to our home town too. 

When Tina, Ed and the kids were in NYC, The Corona Virus was just beginning overseas, but on its way to America.  In just a very few months it would take over NYC bring it to its knees and screeching to a halt.  NYC would fill its hospitals up to over capacity, and the morgues would be full of bodies, with refrigerated trailers rented or purchased to help hold the overflow………The Year of 2020 will be born with the Beginning of the Coronavirus taking over the world.   It almost seems like a bad sci-fi movie…..but its todays reality.

Tammy and her friends from Illinois on the streets of NYC
New York City Honoring the Front Line Workers

The first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in NYC in March of 2020.  They said it had probably already been their for awhile.  23,000 were confirmed by March 27.  2 days later on March 29 it had risen to 30,765……Wow, those numbers are mind boggling…..Tammy was hired by Krucial Staffing Agency, _{Emergency Agency} on their 2nd wave of hiring.  She arrived and started working on her birthday April 6.  By that time they had over 2,000 deaths.  NYC had become the worst affected area in the country.  The dead were dying to fast for the funeral homes to take care of them.  Some homes bought or leased refrigerator units.  Even the Crematoriums were booked and couldn’t keep up.  They began burying bodies in mass at Hart Island……Potters Field, for the poor.  Today, New Years Eve, their is 430,597 confirmed cases in the city for a total.  Todays daily count is 4,207.  They have had a total of 25,042 deaths with 41 for their daily count.  New York have brought the counts way down and had started opening the city in the summer, but the counts are on the rise again. 

The virus is on the rise again all over the country and the world.  California is suffering terribly.  Their hospitals are overfull.  They have nowhere to put new patients.  They are running over 30,000 new cases a day.  Illinois was bad for awhile.  Governor Pritzker shut down much of the state.  It is now declining.  As of today Illinois has a total of 963,389.  the daily count is 7,374.  Texas has been bad up north, but its heading down south  again.  Todays totals are 1,766,410 with a daily counts averaging around 15,000.  We are hearing reports that our local hospitals are filling up, and their is a medical staff shortage.  Down her in the RGV our first wave was this summer. The hospitals were so backed up, they set up emergency units for the overflow.  Now Texas is starting to heat up again.  Many areas are now having their 2nd wave.  We are told to expect a new wave because of the holidays.  People really have a hard time respecting Social Distancing.  Masks are a must.  It’s been a tuff year.  Everyone is tired of Social Distancing.  They are getting together for all the holidays.  That can spell disaster.  We also have those people who don’t believe.  They think the government is infringing on their rights.  They want the freedom to make their own decisions on mask wearing.  Also, many say,…. “It will go away when the election is over”……Come on, Really?….How does the election affect the people dying, and those filing up the beds fighting for their lives on ventilators. 

Now we have 2 vaccines finally available with a 3rd one almost ready to be approved.  They are rushing to have it dispensed all over the country.  This is a huge feat which is already having problems.  Hopefully this is the answer.  All we need is time.  But is everyone taking the vaccine?  I am not….I’m a bit skeptical because it’s new.  Even though they say it’s not been rushed, I still feel it has.  Of course I don’t take any shots, flu shot neither.  So that is my choice. 

So Here it is, the end of 2020, and the beginning of 2021.  Everyone is hoping for a better year.  The virus is still running rampant all over the world.  We are just now hearing of a new Coronavirus Variant entering the states. 2 vaccines have been approved and being rushed around the country to be dispensed. So many people have lost their jobs. We have weekly food lines for family’s who can’t feed their families. People are being evicted from their homes because they can’t pay rent. We wear face masks every time we go somewhere. We practice Social Distancing, no matter what we do. Even the check out lines in the stores. Our White House is in shambles. The leadership and dissention between the party’s and the president are not only embarrassing but devastating to our country. Can we put everything aside when the new President comes into office this month? This is what we must do as a country……UNITE…..AND HEAL…..Their is so much for the New president to do. The people are reeling and suffering from this Coronavirus tragedy. They need some compassion and help. The small business’s have been destroyed. The Economy has ruined so many people’s lives. We need Unity and a plan. A plan for a new beginning. Hope for the people to begin to live once again. Let’s hope we get through these next several months, and 2021 is the start of our NEW BEGINNING….

Day #8 ….of Shelter in Place

This morning I woke up as usual before dawn.  I have never gotten rid of that work mode in my internal clock.  When I was working, we had to be at work at 5:30 am.  If I don’t get by 5am, the cat is in my face and pawing my arm.  He knows what time it is.  After I got up, I feed him his first meal of the day.  Then I opened the interior door.  Its going to be another beautiful day.  It is in the low 70.s and will heat up to the mid to high 80.s.  The air is so fresh in the morning, and theirs a gentle breeze blowing in.  As the sun rises, the rays of light start shinning in and the birds start chirping.  They are starting their day as well.  Such a beautiful morning.  The birds have no idea,  all seems so calm and pristine, but theirs a health crisis looming and shutting down the world.  Nothing in our lifetime has ever happened like this before.  It is a Coronavirus Pandemic.  Then I turn on the TV and check the news on my phone…..Reality sets in…..

In the State of Texas, only essential business are open through the month of April.  Schools are closed till May 4.  Social Distancing protocols, will also stay in effect through April.  Our curfew is still in effect.  All of these things are so important to slow down the Virus.wp-15858549143722686363279323240655.jpgwp-1585854954721101216782641203866.jpgwp-15858548763953078875991208905843.jpgNew York is suffering the worst.  In the past 72 hours their death toll has doubled to over 1900 people.  New York City is running out of hospital beds and ventilators.  Some of the bodies are being loaded into refrigerated reefer vans.  The hospitals have no room nor do the funeral homes.  The news says that as soon as a person dies their is another person waiting for the ventilator.  In Central Park, they have set up a  68 bed field hospital to treat the overflow of patients.wp-15858558279184311807881984732883.jpg

Good Samaritan Purse is a Christian organization from North Carolina.  This hospital is composed of a Respiratory Care unit with ICU capabilities.  The whole world is shutting down and suffering with this virus.wp-15858622341711704446949918497497.jpg

This is a chart of the top 4 countries.  We are #1.  Almost a million people have been affected.  Over 50,000 deaths.  All of this has happened in such a short time.  Just several weeks ago, life was still normal…..How fast it has changed.  Here in the Rio Grande Valley, it is just starting.wp-15858426863556327225060947358458.jpg

As of last nite, we had 106 cases in the RGV, which is these 4 county’s.  We live in Cameron County…..Hidalgo is to the west of us.  Cameron County went from 26 to 37 overnite.  9 of those are in Harlingen.  So it is now here.  Here at the park, our Club Houses are now closed as well as the pool and spas.  Everyone stays home, but we still walk around the park and practice Social Distancing.wp-15858576016314529557232778584838.jpg

One of the couples in the park are making light of the situation.  They set up these chairs so Social distancing can be practiced when your walking…..lol….We also decided the other day to open the North Hall.  We have a nice Library and lots of puzzles that people can take home.  So now on Tue and Fri, 11am to 12noon, they can come in and exchange their books and puzzles, so they have something to take home to do.  They will be sanitized and set in quarantine for a week before being put back into circulation again.  They were pretty excited about that.  Many people still like having the book in their hands to read rather than a Kindle.

Last nite (April 1), we all joined the group “Let Their be Light”.wp-1585858527353512650935258282025.jpg

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Anyone who had a porch lite, turned it on.  Many lite a candle outside their door.  All for the support of our Medical personal working to help save the lives of those afflicted with COVID-19.…They are all putting their lives at risk.  This also includes my daughter Tammy.  She is a RN working in 2 different hospitals in Illinois.  Her youngest daughter, Carly is now staying with my other daughter Tina full time.  They decided since Tammy can be, and has already been exposed, you never know if she may come down with the virus or pass it on.  Tammy brought presents the other day and visited through the screen.wp-15858596841861096119929631148787.jpg

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She brought lots of different treats, matching pajamas for the girls and of course …..”TOILET PAPER”…..  Carly sure misses her momma, but she is also having fun with Miley and AustinShe is in the very good care of Aunt Tina. wp-15858597000025264867740975538780.jpg

This had to have been so hard on both of them.  I’m sure their were tears.  I know Carly wanted to run into Mamma arms…..But this is for the best for right now.

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So Aunt Connie had to get into the act also.  She brought the kids Dirt and Worms...Yum…Everyone loves them…wp-1585859609552821834631707233100.jpg

Of course DeeDee had to see Aunt Connie also.  wp-15858596367927797351413898385405.jpg

These are the strangest times.  Some strange and bazzar  memories these kids will have.  Theirs been nothing like this in our life times.  In years to come when the kids read these blogs, they will remember these stories and how it felt.  Sad Sad times we live in.  But on the other hand, families are now spending much more time together.  They are doing homework, playing games, going out for walks and eating together.  So their is a lot of good also.  They world is on pause.  Maybe this will be a good thing and have lasting benefits for families.

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The unemployment claims have doubled in a week.  It is unheard of.  The families are going to have such a hard time.  Anyone in an non essential job is now laid off.  They are all staying home.  You can’t look for a job as their is none.  The government has passed a 2 trillion dollar stimulus plan, that will provide money for everyone according to their tax filling of 2018 or 2019.  A single will get $1200, couple $2400, and each child is $500.  The checks should be Direct Deposit with in 3 weeks.  That will help but not for long.  The stimulus will also be helping out the small business owner and the Airlines.  Their is much more that is being planned to help.  But its going to be a Looooong Road…..So here we sit….Watching tv….Rich worked on the She-Shed again today.  He put in some more shelving for my crafts.  Only 2 shelves left and I’ll finish painting inside.  But no sense doing it today…..Their is Tomorrow....Tonight, we will sit outside and enjoy a beautiful evening on the patiowp-15858617036986614637159220367896.jpg

It will be a Beautiful Evening…..Just like always….Tomorrow we will get up and do it over again….Thank God for ……RETIREMENT…..