Post #37: Dispatches From England and Manhattan

Pub owner Grant Langdon reports from England: 

A week is a very long time in Coronavirus time; I’m slightly less anxious than this time last week - probably because the situation is like I anticipated a few weeks ago. We are shut as a bar but we are doing off-sales; a lesser used part of licensing. As a consequence we’re seeing who are the real loyal customers and surprisingly a lot of medical personnel. 

Our local general hospital is currently fairly empty in the designated CV-19 wards but there’s is expected “spike” over the next 10 days; just don’t have any other issue.  One recommendation from a nurse I spoke to yesterday; always have a hip flask on you. She works at a nearby hospital and got hold of some wine for patients in the “red zone”; think the ending of Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory...

Kevin Baker writes from the Upper West Side:

On Sunday I searched the little shops along Broadway, those that were still open, looking for masks and gloves. I had received a call from a friend who was a doctor down in southwest Georgia. Her practice was rapidly running out of all protective medical supplies, and she was distraught over the prospect that she would catch the coronavirus and pass it on to her young children. I could not believe that what was still to be found on the Upper West Side was of medical quality, but my friend said to send anything, that the CDC was telling them to tie bandanas around their faces if they had nothing else.

This was something I never could have imagined having to do here in the United States, scouring the hardware shops and the Dollar stores of upper Broadway for basic medical equipment, to send to a doctor educated at the University of Chicago. On Monday, I hauled what I was able to procure—about 200 masks and 500 pairs of gloves—through the rain to mail at the post office. Whether they will be of any real use, I don’t know, but it felt good to be able to do something, anything. “Shelter in place” describes a writer’s normal life, but I have never wanted to reach out more. Along the streets, all sorts of trees are blooming now, white, red, pink, green—even a flower box of daffodils someone has planted—lured out by the false promise of a few, unseasonably mild days. We hope they will be all right as we huddle inside, waiting for a bad season to pass over.


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