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!