After the Pandemic Ends

We came back out east after a hot second in the city.  We have a cadence, and it works.  We leave at around 845am to drive back to the city, and it takes only two hours. On the way out, we leave at 1130am and stop at Katz’s to get a turkey sandwich to split.  Sometimes we go wild and have pastrami, but honestly, we can’t do that often at this point in life.  

On the way out yesterday, I saw something that chilled me to the bone.  If you have been driving or even walking around NYC, you see more homeless and street people over the past year.  When you drive, some people approach the cars asking for money at the stoplights. In the ’80s, many would clean your windshield for some cash. 

Yesterday I saw a young man who had nice clean worn clothes that had a sense of style like he could have been a hipster at a tech company or ran the front of house in a restaurant.  He could have been a friend of our kids. He was walking through the cars, just begging with his hands.  The look in his eyes frightened me.  He was definitely having a mental breakdown and was thoroughly lost.  Who knows how he got there.  After all, we are living in a pandemic in an insanely wealthy country created by the financial industry for themselves with zero safety net. 

The light changed, and we were in the middle of the lanes, so I couldn’t do anything.  We just drove on, but I can’t get his face out of my head.  It wasn’t good.  We need to amplify how we spend our tax money on mental health and housing. This pandemic is ten months deep.  Everyone is dealing in their own ways. This young man had obviously lost it.  It is upsetting to see anyone in these circumstances, but this young man chilled me to my core.

How many more people are in the same boat?  When the tide pulled out, we saw how many companies were naked. How many people were living hand to mouth. Unfortunately, we won’t find out how many more people got to the place this young man obviously has until the tide returns.