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While we’re all staying home together, we asked you to send us the view from your window. And, wow. (We’ve listed the names and locations of these readers and their photos at the end of this article.)
I’m not going to ask how you’re doing because, really, how is anyone doing? But, hey, how was your weekend?
I hope it was sheltering and healthy and safe. Maybe you made a cookie pizza? Or cleaned out your closets? Or watched “Love Is Blind”? I did all three. Things could be a lot worse — especially for those who have lost their paycheck or are caring for someone who’s sick.
A lot happened while we were Kondo-ing and going for runs and worrying about our jobs, health and educations. Governors took center stage. President Trump attacked a reporter. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany went into self-quarantine and Rand Paul became the first U.S. senator to contract the virus. Congress continued to fight over the passage of a $1.8 trillion economic package.
But I’m not going to write about any of that this evening. Instead, I’m turning the focus to you. Hundreds of you wrote us over the past few days. You wrote us from R.V. parks and beach towns. From Gozo, an island in the Maltese archipelago, to “snowy, rural” Wayne, Neb., to a small mountain village in South Korea near the DMZ.
Some of the messages made me laugh. Some made me cry. I wanted to give a whole lot of hugs — or at least a few elbow bumps.
We asked you where you were turning for information, and we found out that many of you trust local officials more than the president, singling out governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Andy Beshear of Kentucky, among others. (You follow the trend: New polling published this afternoon found that 72 percent of Americans gave their governor high marks.)
Some of you go straight to an alphabet soup of scientists for information — the C.D.C., the W.H.O., Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and local health departments.
And a whole lot of you come to us, The New York Times. We appreciate your support, now more than ever, as our staff travels the world to cover this virus. (Please don’t forget to subscribe and support our work.)
But some of the most moving notes we received had nothing to do with news alerts or C.D.C. updates. They were about your fears, small joys and a new way of life.
Here’s some of what you wrote (these notes have been edited and condensed). Thank you for sharing. Stay safe.
Finding what matters
I am 73 years old, diabetic with heart issues. So, I am following the new rules: Live alone, remain alone, “sheltered.” The news is nonstop Covid-19. But I need life, not updates. I miss most that which I took for granted. I am rediscovering that my adult daughters really do love me, that my ex-wife and I still worry about each other, that my faith fills a very real spot in my life. My world may have flipped, but my priorities are falling back into order.
— Peer T. Lykke, Barrington, Ill.
A ‘mad’ scientist
For scientific information about coronavirus (R-naughts, duration and timing of viral shed, time it can live on various surfaces, etc.) I’ve tried to use peer-reviewed publications. When I need to communicate this information to my family, I’ve used pop-sci blogs and publications. I’ve been designated “Policy Team” by my family, in charge of deciding protocols. My most recent dictum is to quarantine nonperishable groceries for one to three days (depending on packaging) before letting them enter the house. I’m mad with power, but I have the evidence to back it up, so no one can argue.
— Katherine Goyette, a student at Dartmouth College who is living back home in Exeter, N.H., and “waiting impatiently for spring term courses to start”
An unexpected opportunity
As we learn to video chat with the kids and thinking that it’s just you and me babe for many months to come, I realize that perhaps it’s finally time after 47 years for us to work on our relationship!
— Bill Dorf, from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Weaverville, N.C.
Walking the line
I live in an extended care Seniorenheim in Nurnberg, Germany; I am an 86-year-old woman from Rhode Island. My small world has changed. I cannot any longer chat with acquaintances in the dining room at midday. What do I see from my window? The same people walking their dogs — some not much larger than my cat, Babe. They now walk alone, whereas often they walked in pairs. I also walk the same path with my friend, not side by side, but in single file in keeping with “distancing.”
— Pauline Hartwig, Nurnberg, Germany
A veteran’s view
I recall a day, long ago, actually 1944, while I was in China in World War II. Yes, we were forced to be aware that we were under something called an air raid. I am reminded that we had to make decisions, just as we do today. We did not need to be told to “HUNKER DOWN” — in this case a slit trench.
— Melvin Thompson, Independence, Mo.
A trusted source
My Aunt Miriam is my primary source of information nowadays. She forwards all the relevant texts, videos, and memes straight to the family WhatsApp chat. I scroll through the media to see what I want to extract for myself and then head over to the Apple News app to fill in the rest.
— Deborah Taub, Long Island
School rituals disrupted
I live with a high school senior who likely won’t return to his school and won’t have a prom or experience any of the senior activities (pranks) his older brother did. My older son is home, online, for the remainder of his freshman year in college as a college athlete who has lost his outdoor track season yet remains dedicated to working out and preparing for next year. All in all, it’s not the worst thing. We have each other. We’re still healthy and our Wi-Fi is strong! A modern day simplicity at its best.
— Michelann Scheetz, Granville, Ohio
Near the DMZ
While there are many preventive measures in place (we wear masks, bow in lieu of handshakes, self-isolate if sick, live with the suspension of most public gatherings and comply with health monitoring measures), I’m not “stuck home.” I got a virus test at a drive-through several weeks ago and have shopped at well-stocked markets, walked my dogs and been to visit a nearby Buddhist temple and a Christian retreat center to offer prayers all within the last 48 hours.
— Dan Silvia, near Camp Casey and Dongducheon, South Korea
A circular quest
My husband Mike and I are uniquely equipped to self-quarantine. We live full-time in our self-contained home, an R.V. We are staying at Saguaro R.V. Park in Benson, Ariz.
Toilet paper has become the Holy Grail. We have looked for it across two states without success. We use a combination of tissues and wet wipes. We spend our time taking daily walks through this beautiful park, reading and binge watching various series. We have visited Tombstone. I hope to visit Tucson and the Saguaro National Park today. I’m getting cabin fever. While out, we will stop at Walmart in search of, you guessed it, toilet paper.
— Cheryl Crockett Lezovich, Benson, Ariz.
‘Let’s stay together’
In this Covid-19 crisis we’ve proactively given our clients a 75 percent discount on their monthly rental for the next three months. We are in the tourism industry so you can imagine the pain our clients are feeling. We are in this together. We say it all the time — now our clients know we mean it. If nothing else, I hope this terrible pandemic resets the default compassion levels of our global society. We are in this pandemic together. Let’s stay together when this is behind us.”
— Richard Howes, Kloof, South Africa
Thank you to Isabella Grullón Paz and Sasha Portis for helping compile these letters and photos.
Drop us a line!
We want to hear from our readers. Have a question? We’ll try to answer it. Have a comment? We’re all ears. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The world feels pretty dark right now, so here are three things to help lighten your way.
Thank you to our readers for sending the view from your window:
Abigail Self, St. Louis; Abigail Wezelis, Pittsburgh; Alan Gold, Oahu, Hawaii; Allen Landers, Knoxville, Tenn.; Allison Browning, Ore.; Alyssa Kuraishi, Kirkland, Wash.; Amy Booras, Texas; Anne Neal, Auberry, Calif.; Annee Elliot, Los Angeles; Ashleigh, Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Barbara Martin, Mount Vernon, Wash.; Bill and Janet Dorf, Weaverville, N.C.; Carol Murray, Manzanillo, Mexico; Chris Dashke; Christa Deoliveira, Salt Lake City; Christopher Barns, Colorado; CM Massat, France; Conrad Macina, Miami; Dan Silvia, Dongducheon, South Korea; David Price, Tokyo; Debora Taber, Ohio; Diana Scherff, Los Angeles; Eduardo Duarte, Long Island; Elaine Hopkins, Indianapolis; Erika, New Jersey; Frank Mona, Auburn, Calif.; Gary, Colorado; Gen Katz, Oakland, Calif.; G. Janicke, Bentonville, Ark.; Greg Burgess, San Rafael, Calif.; Greg De Sena, Ohio; Gregg Wright, Lincoln, Neb.; Hannah Esper, Lafayette, Colo.; Jackie, Arizona; Jacqueline Brown, San Diego; James Brune, Pensacola, Fla.; Jamilla Nelson, San Diego; Jan Hogle, Nellysford, Va.; Jerome Fishkin, Walnut Creek, Calif.; John and Jean, Florida; John Armstrong, San Diego; Julie Brooks, Sandusky, Ohio; Ken Appledorn, Seville, Spain; Ken Robertson, Wenatchee, Wash.; Laurel Burton Talley, Seattle; Leslie Lopato, San Francisco; Linda Guthrie, Portland, Maine; Linda Rosen, Portola Valley, Calif.; Lisa Rountree, Golden, Colo.; Luann Percell Hendricks, Ben Lomond, Calif.; Mark and Mary Ellen Woods, Lake Harney, Fla.; Marla Ware, Moline, Kan.; Marshall Butler, Seattle; Martha Grenon, Austin, Texas; Mary Przewlocki, Reston, Va.; Maureen Gerecke, California; Minoti Sahu, Austin, Texas; Nina Bell; Pamela Blair, Berkeley, Calif.; Patricia Merrill, Tucson, Ariz.; Paul Diener, Portland, Ore.; Paul S. Maxwell, Port Ludlow, Wash.; Phillip Allen, San Francisco; Rankin Whittington, Lenoir, N.C.; Raymond Cook, Pensacola, Fla.; Rebekah Marsh, Denver; Rhonda Garman, Columbia, Tenn.; Richard Howes, Kloof, South Africa; Rick Robinson, Boulder, Colo.; Ron Thomson, Keyser, W.Va.; Samantha Simpson, Pine Bluff, Ark.; Steve Brachman, Tucson, Ariz.; Thomas Smith, Owingsville, Ky.; Tom Ferris, Dublin; Tom Long, Staunton, Va.; Tracy Ann Williams, Simi Valley, Calif.; Vedika Vishweshwar, Hong Kong; Whitney Westgate, Surprise, Ariz.; William Savage, Seattle; Willow Eby Fischer, Northumberland, Pa.; Zeneshia Zenon, Houston
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