Clarity in the Time of Corona

I’m writing this on May 1st, 2020. As of today, I’ve been in lockdown for approximately eight weeks. More and more, each day has become about seeing it out without succumbing to cabin fever.

It’s not a difficult concept, in theory. Surely, in this day and age, while we still lack flying cars and India looks nothing like Dr. Kalam envisioned, I can still stay entertained, connected as I am to the internet. And yes, that’s largely how it’s been. I’ve contributed to the spike in load on the servers powering many many services (RIP personal privacy). I have also upped my reading since January, and it’s gone further up since the start of this pandemic. The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library online catalogues have been a boon. And as always, I’ve been doing most things to some soundtrack (shout out to my poor headphones, you’re the real G).

But mostly, it’s been a time for rumination. I’m not going to claim I’ve been hit with any epiphanies, nor am I going to come out of this a more enlightened person. I have, however, gained a little bit more clarity on things that truly matter, the nuances of my regular daily life that I’ve so far taken for granted. That’s still very cliché, I know.

It’s a surreal experience to live in New York right now. I haven’t been here all that long, but I think I understand some of the qualities of this city that endear it so much to so many people. It’s been very somber to hear the numbers, the statistics, of the impact of the pandemic on the people. I’ve definitely felt a little disconnected from the enormity of these numbers, and it’s disheartening to think that the people behind these numbers have been reduced to “statistics” for the sake of my own sanity.

By now, I’m guessing it’s pretty obvious I didn’t set out to write this with a clear intent. I’ve been advised as part of doing research to begin writing with a two-line thesis statement that roughly maps out the goals and narrative structure of the document; clearly that’s missing here. As always, writing a post on this blog has me wondering what it’ll take to actually get me to write here; this time it was the pandemic, what’s next?

Aditya Saky
May 1, 2020