Good evening from Chinatown in NYC, where December 17, 2021 is bearing an uncanny resemblance to March 9, 2020. On that night, a whole bunch of us trundled from an event at the Soho Forum to a bar in the East Village. The place was on the small side and about 75 fans of the Fifth Column podcast piled in, having come from all over the country for an in-person event with the guys. COVID, of course, was already on the move, and maybe we all sensed in our skin, this was it, but we drank like idiots and slobbered all over each other and then the next morning, without having preplanned a thing, everybody went into their respective houses and essentially saw no one until May. Those two months were the months of ambulance sirens every night and a horrid horrid death toll in the city. I had boarded a plane on March 11 or 12 and spent two months in Portland, where my husband, daughter and I stayed in our house, seeing only each other. One of the highlights during that very odd and sometimes anxious time was watching the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance.”
The last two episodes aired in late May 2020, the same day I got back to the city. I asked Matt Welch, whom I knew had been watching it, if I could some over and watch it with him.
“Um, sure,” he said.
I headed over. Matt opened the door. Standing across the room were his wife Emmanuelle - whom I have known well for twenty years - and their two daughters, looking at me as though I were an alien. Which I kind of was. It turned out I was the first other person to be in their house in two months, and one of few people they had seen at all, since early March.
I don’t have the energy, nor do I see a need, to recount all the ups and downs we’ve been through with COVID, but to say, my friends and I for the most part starting our lives again in June 2020. We had lunches. We traveled upstate together. In May of this year we threw a dad-gum real-live cocktail party for Paloma Media and told everyone to dress up. Everyone did. We’ve become looser and looser and I believe the science backs this up. Many of my friends do serious writing about this, something Matt and Karol Markowicz and I got in the studio yesterday afternoon to talk about. Around the 36-minute mark, Karol makes a pitch for all of us to get out there and go to the 17 parties we’ve been invited to this weekend.
How quickly things change.
“Is there crazy covid news out there? We just lost a third of our reservations in the last half-hour,” my friend Jeff Miller texted last night. Today, he closed the restaurant, who knows for how long, the next stage of opening and trying to keep open a restaurant in the time of COVID, which Jeff wrote about earlier this week in a title piece for Paloma Media, “Sushi Cuts Both Ways: Opening a Restaurant in the Time of Covid.” Armin Rosen, too, wrote about New York under COVID, in “COVID-Battered New York Is Still Awesome, Sorta.”
I saw Armin last night, and I am sure I would have seen him again at some of the 17 parties. But I am not going to the parties. I am not afraid of catching COVID; I am not afraid of dying from it. But the same little turkey-popper (so to speak) that went off in all of us on March 10, 2020 went off again today, parties have been cancelled, and the lines for COVID testing are absolutely bananas.
Tomorrow we were slated to go to three events, including one for which people have flown in. Instead, we will be holing up and watching Die Hard, which I hear is a Christmas movie?
Sending love to you and yours xx Nancy
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It's just so asinine. At least in March there was enough uncertainty that lockdowns made sense. This new variant is extremely mild, and it's probably healthy to develop natural immunity to it! The virus has really revealed a level of deep-seated neuroticism in the population that I'd never seen before.
So to hell with it- I'm going to every party and every dinner I've been invited to!
It's really incredible the fear that has overtaken people. PTSD from March 2020. I know a lot of people who have gotten Covid over the past month and three more positives today. All mild. It's incredibly frustrating that there is a lack of conversation about early treatment and there should be monoclonal antibody infusion sites everywhere. We should not have to be so afraid. Covid is not a death sentence. On the bright side, back to being able to get reservations at restaurants where reservations are impossible!