Starbucks has removed the chairs from its tables. News anchors wear gloves to model good behavior. We saw the coronavirus coming for months yet our leaders did nothing, clinging to national mythologies and hubris. Now New York City has closed its schools, restaurants, bars, and theaters. No more gatherings of fifty people or more. I run through Central Park, passing joggers with balaclavas and kerchiefs wrapped around their faces like they’ve been throwing Molotov cocktails. Neighbors sit on separate benches, loudly describing their days. On First Avenue I saw a man wearing a World War I mustard gas mask and I could not tell if this was paranoia or parody.

Tonight two elderly men stood at opposite ends of the television screen, bickering and campaigning from a hygienic distance. This feels like the last presidential debate. Society might look very different on the other side of this pandemic. Maybe we’ll put on a better show.

Flying Saucer Attack – Distance

From Distance | Domino, 1994 | Spotify
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related Reading
April 17, 2020


I can’t stop staring at this photograph. I study the woman’s mouth, teeth bared and jaw dropped, probably wrapped around a word like tyranny or freedom.
March 27, 2020


Every night the Electrifying Mojo would sign off with the same message and I want us to hear it in our heads now, delivered in a slow baritone with a grin around the edges.
March 18, 2020


There was a time when I would count how many words I said each day. At night I logged the number into a notebook. Sixteen. Twenty-three.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x