Coronavirus Update from New York City: March 19, 2020

Let me first start out by saying that this post is being written impromptu, so this will be much less polished than most of my content on here.

That being said, with how much the coronavirus situation has escalated in New York City just in the last couple of days, I thought that it was important to provide my readers an update on how I’m doing and how my city is doing. I hope to do this on a weekly basis, usually on Thursday evenings (though the timing of these updates, just like nearly everything else during this time, is subject to change). Note that this is in addition to, not instead of, my regularly scheduled posts on Monday evenings. Also note that all of these posts will tend to be impromptu in nature, so all these updates will have content less polished than most of my content on here.

Personally, I am doing about as well as I could be, considering the circumstances. I have job stability, so I am in no danger of losing my job. Furthermore, starting next week, I will be working from home. Finally, many (but not all, by any means) of the things I do at work are things I can do at home as well, so the change won’t be quite as jarring for me as it will be for some people.

However, the situation in New York City is not good at all. As of the time I’m writing this, over 3,600 New Yorkers have tested positive for the coronavirus (with 22 deaths). Worse yet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference late this afternoon that the city could be 2-3 weeks away from running out of some medical supplies. I am hoping Mayor de Blasio was being hyperbolic about the situation with our hospitals, but fear that he is not.

Needless to say, for those of you who are believers in prayer, please keep New York City in prayer. For those of you who are not believers in prayer, please keep New York City in your thoughts.

How Not to Respond, and How to Respond, to the Coronavirus

I actually had a different post in mind for this week, but given the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), I decided to make a quick change in plans. Given the wide range of both unjust and just reactions I’ve seen to the coronavirus, I thought I would make a list of things (with explanations) on how not to respond, and how to respond, to this.

Do not respond with anti-Chinese sentiments.

Anti-Chinese sentiments include a refusal to buy Chinese food from your local Chinese restaurant and getting angry at anyone who is or looks Chinese, simply because this strain of coronavirus was first discovered in China. Just because it first originated there does not mean that we should treat people of Chinese descent as any less than anyone else.

Do listen to medical health experts in your area.

Listen to guidance from people in your city’s and/or state’s Health Department. Those who are actually working on this virus on a day-to-day basis are the ones who will likely have wise advice on how best to proceed. So, listen to them…please.

Do not automatically get angry if you see someone who sneezes or coughs when they are out in public.

The other day, someone absolutely freaked out at me when I sneezed once…once! However, we must realize that there are many reasons for someone to sneeze or cough that do not necessarily involve corthe coronavirus. It could be a cold, it could be allergies, or it could be that someone randomly has the urge to sneeze…all of us have the urge to sneeze once in a while, even if we are perfectly healthy!

But, if at all possible, please do stay home if you feel sick.

Thanks to the lack of sick leave that some people have (a subject I wrote about at length in last week’s blog post), it is not possible for some people to stay home. However, for those who do have sick leave available to them, use it when you feel sick. By staying home when you’re sick, you’re doing a favor to yourself and to others.

Do wash your hands frequently.

People should use discretion, but should also remember to wash their hands with regularity and thoroughly. You want to do all you can to kill the bad germs you may end up coming into contact with.

Do find things to occupy your time, if other things that used to occupy your time (work, school, sports) are getting canceled.

Don’t just sit around. Give your friend a phone call or a video call. Pick up a book. Sing songs, play an instrument, or listen to a CD. Watch a DVD or a favorite show or movie on a service like Hulu or on-demand cable. Pick up a new hobby. Work on a garden. Write something. Do some painting. We need to look out not just for our physical health, but our mental health too, and these are all things that will help us look out for our own and each other’s mental health.


The situation with the coronavirus is a very hectic and fluid situation. However, I hope that these tips I offered are a good place for all of us to start in order to take care of our own and others’ physical and mental health. I am also open to hearing other tips in the comments section below!