This is a situation which none of us have ever seen before and it manifests itself in many different ways. There's economic anxiety. People are out of work. What does this mean? Unemployment insurance, will it cover the bills. There's isolation. There's fear of the unknown, there's misinformation. You put it together, it is very disorienting, to say the least. If you're feeling disoriented, it's not you. It's everyone, and it's everywhere, and it's with good cause. Today is Saturday. You know how I know today is Saturday? Because my alarm clock said Saturday when I woke up this morning. But if you drive around, it doesn't seem like Saturday, right? Saturday is the day that people are off work, except people were off work yesterday. Saturday is the day that the traffic is lighter. But the traffic was lighter yesterday. So, it's literally one day blending into the other. And just as a matter of perspective, a matter of context, this feels like it's been going on forever. But it really hasn't. New York State had its first case of COVID just 27 days ago. New York schools closed only ten days ago. The New Rochelle cluster, which was the highest cluster in the United States, which, thanks to the good work of our health department, has now come down. That was 18 days ago when we started the school closings in New Rochelle and started the testing and the drive-throughs. The overall shutdown of non-essential workers was only eight days ago. Feels like a lifetime.
This is not a sprint, my friends, this is a marathon. You have to gauge yourself. You have to understand that this is going to be a long-term situation, and even though it's so disruptive, and so abrupt, and so shocking, it's also long-term. And each of us has to do our own part to adjust to it. It's a shocking new reality.
My gratuitous two cents: see if you can't find a silver lining in all of this. People say extraordinary things to me that I just pick up anecdotally. People come up with all of these interesting ideas: who's painting their house because they never had time to paint their house before; who's working on a project that they never got to; who's reading a book that they never got to do; who's writing a book. A few people say I'm writing my journals, I'm writing my life's story.
You have the advantage of time for communication. I've had conversations with my daughters, hours long conversations, where it's just us talking, and they're priceless. I'll never get the opportunity in life to do that again. They're going to go off and find a boyfriend and then do whatever they do. I've had conversations with my mother who can't leave the house, and she's in the house so we sort of take turns talking to mom. I talked to my mother for hours and it's special. I'm not trying to say it's not a terrible circumstance. But, even in a terrible circumstance, if you look hard enough you can find a few rays of light, and people are doing it and I think we all should.
It's going to be a marathon, but we're going to get through it and we are going to be the better for it. We will have learned a lot. We will have changed. We will be different, but I believe net, we'll be different in a positive way.
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