It’s Saturday evening in Brooklyn and all is quiet. Not quiet in a peaceful or bored way. Quiet in a discomforting, am-I-being-followed way.
As I sit here in New York City, which is shutting down—the runs on grocery stores are slowing because there’s little left, businesses have their metal roll-down gates at half-to-no mast, and the few people on the sidewalks are walking wide berths around one another—I’ve been checking in with friends and colleagues around the world.
One friend in Milan describes how his elderly parents went to a dinner party last week after which a guest tested positive. He’s furious. At them. I hear from a friend in Sweden that he expected hazmat suits at the airport upon arrival in Stockholm but to his surprise saw nothing of the kind. A friend in Kolkata mentions no visible signs of the pandemic and, as I try to convince my father in Pennsylvania that he needs to take better preventative measures, he tells me from his funky small town, “It’s not here yet.”
I will continue to gather these stories but, colleagues, I’m here to request your help. Write in, check in, describe what you see.
Tell stories with me.
Give your sense of the world right now.
Connect those who want—or need—such dispatches in this sudden silence.
We are living in history. And we are creating the record.