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Brooklyn’s Prospect Park looks normal. It’s just after 8 a.m. The joggers perform the loop while singing for themselves. Cyclists hiss and dog owners ignore their pets and look at their phones. But Holly Williams says life doesn’t seem normal – it’s alone.
“I’ve seen people in person, but it’s not the same thing, you know, like going to a friend’s house and watching a movie or dinner,” said Williams.
The number of cases of people infected with coronavirus reached around one million worldwide by April 3. And, New York is at the center of the pandemic with more than 50,000 cases on Friday. So, like many others, Williams is a social distancing. For the past four weeks, she has stated that her only regular company is her dog – Bayla.
Williams is sitting on the porch with a friend, but from a safe distance. Just like I interviewed her – wearing a blue plastic mask and gloves. My microphone extended over a long pole. It is not the same.
Nearby, walking down a path, Maddy Fox says she has also made some adjustments. “In fact, we haven’t been out for several days. “
Fox says she’s scared. She doesn’t want her children – Anya, 5, or Max, 8, to fall ill. But one recent morning, the family was out of breath. That’s why they’re at the park early – before things get crowded. Many things are different now. The grandparents of the children live downstairs but they are not allowed to see them. They are too worried about making their grandparents sick.
Even Anya knows that life is different.
“We have to watch out for people,” she says.
A few blocks away, the hair salon, the Chinese restaurant and the local bar are all closed. But the laundromat is open. Anthony Laccona owns the place with his father – an elderly gentleman. When I come in, the first thing I do is ask if his father always comes to work. Because this is my laundromat and my neighborhood. Laccona says her father is fine.
“Listen, life goes on,” says Laccona. “Just be friendly with everyone, you know, keep them at bay of course, but we’re going to get through this in one way or another. “
The local cinema closed its doors a few weeks ago. Where you used to see movie titles, now on the Marquis, all the black capital letters say “See you on the other side.”