Coronavirus Update From New York City: May 20, 2021

This week, there is some big news within my family. My younger brother graduated from college! I am so incredibly proud of him and all the other students who overcame the challenges of education during COVID in order to graduate from college.

A major part of that graduation weekend involved doing some things that I had not done since before COVID, and as such was a little terrifying at first.

For example, the festivities surrounding the graduation itself made me a little nervous at first, I must admit. In particular, the large gathering of people out and about (with the graduates and their families) after the ceremony. I acknowledge that said nerves were not the most rational, for there were a combination of factors that made my catching COVID remote–not a single student present at the graduation festivities has tested positive for COVID symptoms (my brother’s college did COVID testing twice a week), not a single person present would be present if they had tested positive for COVID, the activities were all outdoors, I was wearing my mask, and I am fully vaccinated. However, sometimes nerves are not rational.

Walking through a rather busy diner after my brother’s ceremony in order to use a restroom also made me a little nervous. Between the number of people in the diner and the fact that I’m not sure the diner had good ventilation, my fears related to being in that diner (if even for a brief time) might be somewhat more rational than being at the graduation festivities. Still, between my mask-wearing, my being fully vaccinated, and the fact that I was only in the diner for a short time (only for a couple of minutes), I’m still one to think that my chances of catching COVID in that diner were extremely low.

I guess the moral of these two stories from last weekend is that it is not abnormal for us to struggle with fears, even fears that might not make the most sense, due to what we’ve been through with COVID-19 in the past year. It may feel freakish to struggle with some of those basic activities, especially if we have friends or family members who aren’t freaking out about similar activities. However, we are anything but freakish.

In other good news, COVID in my part of New York City continues to be on the decline–now down to under 3% in my zip code.[1] Most of all, a much smaller percentage of both hospital beds and ICU beds are being taken up by COVID patients in the hospital near where I live–15% of adult hospital beds and 31% of ICU beds.[2] Hopefully COVID will continue to go in the right direction where I am.

I hope others are well and safe!


[1] https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page

[2] https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/12/09/944379919/new-data-reveal-which-hospitals-are-dangerously-full-is-yours

16 Replies to “Coronavirus Update From New York City: May 20, 2021”

  1. Congratulations go to your brother on his graduation from college! I totally understand your unease in mingling again among other people. Although I’ve also been vaccinated, I’m not yet ready to be in a crowded place whether indoors or outdoors.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your brother has done really well to graduate with all this going on. Well done to him!
    I fully understand that nerves are not rational. I’ve begun venturing out again and even just being outdoors seems terrifying. In a way it helps me to comprehend what life must be like for a released convict or someone demobbed from the military; it’s the same world we once knew, and yet frightening at the same time.
    We’ll get there though, if we support each other.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Congratulations to your younger brother! I understand your irrational fears, sometimes I find myself holding my breath when I walk past someone on the street even when we’re both wearing masks and social distancing. The scientific facts tend not to compute in those moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, congratulations to your brother. I agree some things make me a little hesitant but I still wear my mask in crowded areas and my state still requires them in stores so we will continue to progress and I personally am taking it at my own speed.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hi Brendan. So good to hear all your good news. We’re really improving quickly in Canada too. The covid number are down etc. I think when you speak of fear and the trepidation we all feel in taking those steps outside the new normal, it’s going to take time to move on. I hope fear doesn’t end up stifling some people’s freedom more than it already does.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So many congratulations to your brother — his will be a graduation always remembered. As a pastor I can tell you that the fears you have the strange blend of rational and irrational are almost everyone’s. And people will be fine with some thing one week and the next week the same close contact will give them heart palpitations.

    Liked by 2 people

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