WE ARE SUFFERING FROM A SOCIAL RECESSION, TOO.

By Michael Hendrix 

 

This essay is part of a special series of the American Project that seeks to address the crisis of loneliness during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

 

New Yorkers are used to hearing sirens. And then came March’s round-the-clock ambulance wails, every hour of every day. Through the barred windows of my Brooklyn apartment, I watched the streets empty as an unseen contagion drove us inside.

Before the razor wire and guard dogs on Fifth Avenue, before the mass graves in the city’s potter’s field, New York was not perfect, but we had each other. Now, it seems, we are united only by fear and loneliness. “People don’t have anything to lose,” cried one looter smashing the windows on a Duane Reade drugstore in Lower Manhattan this past May. “In the right circumstances, ka-boom.” I’d like to believe he’s wrong…

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