New York on Pause

By Tina Chau Apr 23, 2020

It's been thirty-two days since the stay at home order here in New York took effect. The City That Never Sleeps is now quieter as if in slumber as most shops closed and non-essential activities and gatherings have been restricted.  Except for the occasional supply run, there is not much reason for us to leave the safety of our home. It can be mind-numbingly boring at times. It's hard to describe how COVID-19 has impacted us here as it did across the world.  But we carry on.

Same place, different feeling

Chinatown looking like a ghost town.

Chinatown has been part of my childhood memories growing up here in New York. It's always bustling with people. Foodies love the place for a wide array of dining options. I have a lot of favorite vegan food spots here that I frequently visit. In all the time I have been to Chinatown, I have never seen it so quiet and empty as it did the last time I saw it. It's both reassuring and sad. It's reassuring that people who live in the area are heeding the call to stay at home to help limit COVID-19 from spreading. But it's also sad to imagine the toll it's taking on people's daily lives and means of livelihood.

Daily life

Baking cookies

Living with two children means things can be chaotic at times. My husband and I have to constantly come up with ways to channel all that energy. The great thing about being cooped at home is that it sparks a lot of creativity and provided plenty of opportunities for learning. Baking, cooking, drawing, and growing edibles are just some of the things we've done so far. And it's gratifying to see the kids enjoying these activities.

Everyday heroes

Despite being stuck at home we are still able to enjoy delicious eats like this vegan savory tofu dish that we ordered from Fong On in Chinatown

What stands out among the many things that came out of this global pandemic are the everyday heroes. The healthcare workers who put their own lives at risk to save others and everyone whose work ensures that we can still get the essentials needed as we shelter in place. Things like food delivery have taken on a deeper significance. Something that has become a part of our daily life took on a broader meaning. Suddenly, the simple pleasure of eating delicious take out or delivery food has become more meaningful when you think about the people who made it possible.

Preparing for the new normal

Brooklyn Bridge

As we look forward to when this is over, we are also preparing ourselves for the new normal. Everyone who has gone through this will come out of this experience a changed person. We may have different ways of coping with the aftermath. But one thing's for sure...we need to prepare ourselves for the new normal. Where we have to be more prepared to deal with things like this and be more mindful of how we choose to live on this planet.

Here's hoping for things to get better soon. Stay safe, everyone!

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