The Metropolitan Museum of Art on March 24. Photo: Alexei Hay As the virus rolled in like an invisible, toxic fog, I watched apartment buildings go semi-dark and families pack up SUVs and drive off into the countryside. With planes empty and borders closed, the flow of new arrivals who refresh New York has stopped. Those who could do so made a run for it; the rest are still bravely going to work or stowing themselves out of sight. On warm days, the parks feel distressingly overpopulated, but only because each person now requires an enlarged bubble of personal space. Looking out my living-room window, I see terror saunter down vacant streets, reclaiming a city that had forgotten how to fear. I wonder how long the feeling will linger. Most of those people will return, even if the sense of threat never entirely lifts. New Yorkers pride themselves on shrugging off risk. A pall of anxiety descended after 9/11, and some cubicle-and-subway dwellers suddenly discovered a fondness for Vermont. But before long, Penn Station was packed again, and the heavily armed soldiers became part of the décor. Terrorism lost its power to terrorize. In 2017, a man drove a truck… Read full this story
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