Call No. 1371

Monday, April 20, 2020 at 9:34:05 PM EDT


Message No. 1319

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 4:49:37 PM EDT

I just got back to Brooklyn after a poorly timed trip and resulting quarantine elsewhere. I’m a tech at a Manhattan hospital and am gearing to go back. I haven’t been home in the month, so the culture shock is huge. The sirens and the masks are new. In a few days I will have to distance from my partner when I go back to work. I’m dreading that, and I’m terrified, but aren’t we all? Better to be terrified on the move, I guess. Better to be terrified and helpful.


Call No. 1318

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 4:41:10 PM EDT

Hello. I am calling in from Chicago today. I’m in my high school bedroom. This is probably the most amount of time that I’ve spent in my high school bedroom since I graduated high school five years ago. But at this point, I’m thankful that it hasn’t been covered it into an exercise room. Because I live alone, so I decided to socially distance with my family. So it’s been, it’s been nice.

Something that’s happened recently is, I found out that an ex partner of mine was dating somebody new and didn’t tell me, and we were still talking. And so I found that out during quarantine, which, you know, it’s never a convenient time to experience heartbreak, but it’s an extremely interesting time to experience heartbreak now, because I find that while I’m heartbroken, I also feel guilt for feeling heartbreak. Because really my heart should be breaking for everybody else around the world whose jobs are disappearing and you know, who are looking down the neck of what seems to be a long amount of time of uncertainty. And really, I’m very fortunate and very lucky, because I still have my job, because I have a family that I can surround myself with, that, you know, I have so many, so many blessings.

So, you know, a lot of times when people experience heartbreak, they try to distract themselves. They surround themselves with friends and activities. And I think what makes this harder is that I’m just still my high school bedroom and I will be for a while. But at least I have a bedroom.

Anyway, sending love to anybody who needs it. I know we will get through. Bye.


Message No. 1295

Monday, April 13, 2020 at 11:36:20 PM EDT

I am staying with my parents in Minnesota after leaving my apartment in New York City. My favorite moment so far in being here was on a Sunday night a week ago when my mom and I had drank one-too-many margaritas. I had put on the song “American Pie” by Don McClean, a favorite of mine, and in a serendipitous moment, my mom began to sing every single word to the seven-minute song. We sang and danced around our kitchen for an hour after that. It was a moment of light and joy in an otherwise dismal few weeks.


Call No. 1278

Monday, April 13, 2020 at 11:35:42 PM EDT

Hi. I’m calling from Seattle. I’m in my new basement office. I took over the guest room. It’s not bad. I’m working alot.

I have a pretty demanding job, and I’ve just been realizing that I really miss walking from meeting room to meeting room. and I miss you know, walking to the kitchen which is further away in the office. And sometimes I even have to walk to another building in my office. I miss having to stand to move. Honestly, I can stand. I am allowed to get up and move, but I just find myself working for a long time and not taking breaks because it’s just more work.

I have especially more work because of Covid actually, but yeah. I’m just not. There’s just no natural break It feels like the day starts with work and ends with work, and I don’t come up for air. And I know that I have an easier job by far than like, doctors and nurses and even those people who are delivering packages and working in a grocery store but. I don’t know I just… I need to learn to take a break and find some air between all of this. That’s it for me. Thanks.


Call No. 1219

Monday, April 13, 2020 at 3:56:24 PM EDT

Good afternoon. I am calling from the village of Harlem in New York city, and to my surprise, it’s 2:34 PM and I’m just waking up. I don’t need this calendar that’s in front of me on my wall that reads March 20th, 2020. I’m in the process of losing weight, and every day I write down what my current weight is. I haven’t done that since… Last date I marked was, looks like March 21st. Because the quarantine has me eating around the clock. And as you can see, I wake up whenever my eyelids choose open. I have no job to go to.

My son is here. He’s 20, so he can cook for himself. He is enrolled in college. So he has a schedule where he goes to virtual classes, but I don’t.

I’m a tour guide. So tourism is shut. It went from being the number one tourist location in the world to being completely obsolete. I love research and history, so I have plenty of time to gather and notate information for tours in the future. But only God knows when those tours will come to fruition.

I’m sitting in my bedroom right now. Every now and then you may hear my wind chime that I gave to my mother a couple of years ago before she passed away, and it always calms me to hear a wind chime, so I put it on my fire escape, because that’s my new front yard, my backyard. That’s my imaginary deck, my imaginary terrace.

And I’m originally from Chattanooga and there on top of everything else are tornadoes. So when I count my blessings, I do include electricity, because I have family and friends that are all quarantined with several children out of school with no power. With no iPad, with no music, with no food, I mean, no stove to cook.

When it rains, it pours. Literally, it is raining in New York City. I can hear the water on the tires. New York has become very, very quiet these days. The only sounds I seem to hear are ambulance sirens. I hear a lot of birds chirping, surprisingly. And I think the birds are even confused, because they’re chirping at 6:00 pm like it’s 6:00 am. I noticed that yesterday as I watched the wonderful movie about the Clark Sisters for the third time. Gospel music has really gotten me through this.

I’m slightly handicapped because I have become obsessive about food preparation. So I’ve been chopping celery and onions and I sliced my thumb. Now all of the wiping and cleaning and sanitizing I’m doing is with one hand. I’m right handed, so at least it’s my left hand, my left thumb that’s injured. But my son helped to wash the dishes, but out of nervous energy and anxiety I just have a little bottle of 10% Clorox and I go around the house every three or four hours wiping down and spraying.

I haven’t left this apartment, it’s two bedroom apartment, in over a month. Thank goodness my husband goes to the grocery store and will make one family trip a week. And he’ll do the laundry and he’s taken on the domestic, I guess, engineering department. And he’s considered essential, so he goes out every day. But it is a 45 minute ritual, as soon as he comes into the door, we’re in the shower. And he calls maybe five minutes before he’s home, we turn the shower on, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, fill it up, make a makeshift steam room, and he goes straight in, clothed. But he changes clothes at work. So he has his work clothes. He puts on his home clothes, he goes into the shower, sits for at least 28 minutes, and then he comes out, puts his clothes in a plastic bag. And that goes to the laundry the next day, not the next day, the next that he goes to wash, which is usually Saturday. So that’s our normal activity.

I just saw Cuomo who has become my savior. I got a little crush on him. He just did a wonderful interview with all of the governors. From Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, Jersey, Connecticut, and it’s just like this, we got this energy, every time he’s on CNN. And I’m reading the newspaper because I want to know how many new cases. That’s what I’m personally interested in. I know the death toll is grim. 700, 740, 750, 780, 790 people die every day. Unfathomable. I was here on 9/11. This is as if 9/11 is happening every day. For six weeks straight. And I see now we have new cases. I saw a story about a maternity ward, where almost all of the women have coronavirus and it’s not a happy time. It’s usually filled with balloons and joy. No.

My childhood best friend’s sister died. She lost her battle with cancer two days ago. So planning a funeral in the middle of this coronavirus, where you could only have ten people present, and some of them are employees of the funeral home. Thank goodness her son is… He just graduated. What is it when you go to school to be a funeral director? He just graduated. So of course her service is going to be beautiful, but who’s going to see it?

Oh, sounds like someone is outside having an episode. I’m on the fifth floor, so I can’t even see out the window what that is. Sorry.

Planning a funeral in the middle of coronavirus is awful cause you never ever planned to bury your baby sister. She’s the oldest sister, my friend. So, I did see that in Tennessee, they may even have drive-by funerals, which means the body would be maybe out and the cars can drive around, roll down the window, and view the body, and drive off. This is reality.

How do I feel most of the time? Sad. Not myself. Very short tempered. I got to the point where I just don’t even answer the phone anymore. Cause I would learn about ten deaths a day. I would learn about.. I know I got ten minutes. Oh, it’s time to go. Yeah. Not good, very grim, but I’m fighting to stay alive. I’m fighting to stay healthy with all my heart and I will prevail and so will the rest of us. 2020 came in with a bang.


Call No. 1263

Monday, April 13, 2020 at 3:56:07 PM EDT

Last Wednesday my family and I had a zoom Seder. From  St Louis, from Atlanta, and from New York City.

And one of the more poignant things that happened was that my sons, one is in his late twenties the other in his early thirty’s, introduced their partners to each other who they had never met, because a trip had been planned in March for the 2 couples to meet and it never quite happened.

So during the Seder my son Ben introduced Sarah, and my son Daniel introduced Sam. It was a lovely, very bittersweet moment.


Message No. 1187

Monday, April 13, 2020 at 10:24:08 AM EDT

I’m sitting in my bedroom where I work. I live in manhattan and I’m very fortunate. Neither my wife or had gotten sick or lost our jobs. We’ve donated as many masks as we can and financialLy contributes where we can. My wife runs her business from home so the adjustments are minimal but for me it’s completely new. I’ve always worked in an office. We’ve said repeatedly that we’re so glad it’s spring. At least I’m able to look outside and see blooming flowers or when I go for a socially distanced walk have it be quite pleasant. Life has stayed the same in many ways – my wife and I do our shopping on Sunday’s, we drink coffee in the morning, and we start work around 9 or 10 in the morning. But in other ways it’s vastly different. I’ve never been an anxious person but now there’s an underlying tension, a fear every time I go outside, and I’ve never had that feeling before. We aren’t able to see our friends anymore – we’ve had virtual happy hours, joint tv watching, etc., but it really hit home for me when we dropped off some masks for friends of ours. We weren’t able to give them our customary hugs – we said hi and tossed the masks to them. And then there’s death – a good friend of mine lost his father last year and then just lost his older brother to the virus. It’s heart wrenching because not only does he have to do this with just his mom, but aside from sending a video, seamless gift card, and telling him I’m there for him there’s nothing I can do. In so many ways, this virus has brought a kind of tranquillity to life. It’s quieter now and we can hear birds chirping…


Call No. 1151

Monday, April 13, 2020 at 12:00:55 AM EDT

Hi, I just want to listen to messages.

Um, I’m okay. I’m just scared and have to go out for groceries and I wish I didn’t. I wish, somebody would set up an extensive delivery system. More extensive than the ones there are, especially for people over 65 like me, who don’t have people to do this for them.

So, that’s the message I want to put out there, and I’d like to find out how I can listen to other people’s concerns. Thank you. Be well.


Call No. 1108

Sunday, April 12, 2020 at 11:35:35 PM EDT

Okay. So, I’m in a room in small room. Given like the situation in New York City, I left and I came up to Beacon, New York, to my cousin’s place. And we’ve hunkered down here and made it quite the creative experience, I guess, when you have that privilege.

And at first I was sort of very anxious about it all. And by now have settled. And I know that I don’t have to like create something magnificent during the quarantine. I should just stay healthy and alive. But. Creating something would be ideal. So I’ve been working on my next book and so far it’s coming out shit. But the idea is good.

The process for it to be good includes writing out the shitty. Then the good will come through. I hope.

But we’re healthy. We’re alive. And honestly for the writer’s life that I’ve lived so far, quarantine seems pretty much the way I used to live my life, except now I have permission to dive really deep into the things I love creating. So, can’t really complain. It could be much worse.



Call No. 1089

Sunday, April 12, 2020 at 8:54:19 PM EDT

Hi, I am a resident of Santa Cruz, California. And as we move through this challenging pandemic, my reflections go to a couple of different areas. And I would say that I have come to recognize and embrace four different things with this, which is fear, awareness, thankfulness and hope.

The fear that I have is for those that were not prepared. For those that have lost loved ones and will never have closure because of the way that it has been handled.

I have become acutely aware of my responsibility as a role model, being as a food service manager in a hospital, to my staff and the way that they have handled it. I have found myself being in need of giving them support in more ways than I ever thought possible.

I’m so thankful for my upbringing, for my parents and that they have made me independent, self sufficient, and so that I can make it through this these hard times with minimal suffering.

And then lastly, I hope and pray to God that all mankind learned from this to make good choices in the future, to ensure a safe and bountiful, you know, time with their family and friends from here on out. This isn’t going to be the last time we experienced something like this, and I hope that everybody learns from it.

Thank you.


Call No. 1072

Sunday, April 12, 2020 at 8:09:45 PM EDT

I know that these are times where we wonder what’s going to happen with us. And I keep reflecting that I have lived a good life. I have wonderful adult children, and if it is my time to go that I have no regrets. The only regret that I do have is that we have not found a cure for this. And I do hope one day that we can look back and realize how precious life is.