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World Covid-19

Monday, March 16, 2020 the World Came to a Halt

NYC Closed due to pandemic

I was a highly sought personal trainer at a gym chain located in Queens for over nine years. Life was simple; my commute to work was within a block. On Monday, March 16, 2020 at 2 pm the whole world came to a halt. I had a paid vacation set aside for that day so I can run a couple of errands. Covid-19 was at New York City’s doorsteps; Governor Cuomo finally gave the executive order to shut down restaurants, bars, and gyms. I acquiesced with the state’s actions and reached out to all my clients disclosing the governor’s executive decision. Without any warning, a phone call came in at 5 pm from my manager. All brick and mortar personnel (from the general manager all the way down to the front desk staff) were laid off.  Within three days of their abrupt notice, I became a statistic. I was one of 3.3 million people that filed for unemployment within one-week duration. I never received any type of assistance nor unemployment until now.

NYC Unemployed Covid-19

Half of New York's Immigrants are Unemployed | Photo Credit:

               At home, my wife still works as a city employee. I made a commitment to driving her to and from work just to promote social distancing. The first day, I made a morning trip to Trader Joe’s in Queens in the hopes of getting everything I need before the shelves become barren.  The line wrapped around the block. Inside the store, there was no social distancing being enforced during that time. It took two hours to complete my list.

               The next two weeks were not as bad. I worked on side projects that I’ve procrastinated while I was employed. I dedicated myself to watching three TED Talk videos a day, made five contacts a day, searched for employment, and part time gigs to help pass the time. Unemployment bothered me. My old colleagues created a group chat since the lay off. My friends from high school conducted a weekly virtual happy hour. These were great support systems for us to stay in contact.

TED Talk video

TED Talk "Sleep Is Your Super Power" | Photo Credit:

               Media outlets and publicly made announcements from Governor Cuomo depicting how Queens is the epicenter. I hear ambulances more frequently as each day pass. Elmhurst Hospital became the Covid-19 hospital of Queens and it’s just down the road. My close friend, an urgent care doctor in Long Island tells me that 80% of his patients are diagnosed with Covid-19. Even one of my clients, a hospital doctor in Queens is now bed ridden with the virus for the past week. Every day, I call my parents’ home to check on their status. At the moment, they have been healthy.  The government announced that there is a 30 day of social distancing in effect; I worried if the gym will ever reopen after we are given the all clear.

Elmhurst Hospital Queens Covid-19

Elmhurst Hospital located in Queens is one of the hardest hit hospitals in the epicenter. | Photo Credit:

               From where I sit, as I stare out of my window I can still see people walking about keeping their distance.  I know for a fact that things are going to get worst before things get better. All we have to do now is stay #NewYorkTough.

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