We thought it will be one thing ultra-modern that received us, didn’t we? We thought it will be nuclear zombies, or possibly a software program virus. Nope! It was the old-school variety. The type of factor that’s been going round each winter and spring for 100,000 years. Solely this time it’s postmarked from hell. We’ve been laid low by the frequent chilly’s CHUD cousin. The flu that ate the world.
Manhattan doesn’t give up simply. I used to be right here on 9/11, and although the bars and eating places have been quiet within the fall of 2001, they have been nonetheless open. Folks went to gyms. Folks had brunch. Folks noticed films and reveals. This time, all of that’s gone. Manhattan isn’t Manhattan anymore. Broadway theaters seem like tombstones. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue has been canceled for the primary time in its 258-year historical past. There isn’t a nightlife. There isn’t a lot daylife, for that matter. Everybody who can make money working from home is doing so. Quite a lot of the individuals who can’t make money working from home are simply out of labor.
In Cameron Crowe’s Tom Cruise film “Vanilla Sky,” which was filmed earlier than 9/11 however launched shortly after, a dream sequence finds Cruise’s character wandering an empty, barren Occasions Sq., and the easy stillness, the vacuum, the silence, was one of many eeriest issues ever placed on movie. This was earlier than digital know-how made it simple to conjure up something the creativeness might devise; with the intention to movie the sequence Crowe received the police to close down Occasions Sq. for 3 hours one Sunday morning in November of 2000, crowds champing on the bit simply past the borders of the movie. For the second time in a era, we’re residing via a catastrophe film.
In a film, although, you recognize issues shall be over in a few hours or so. When will we get up from our state of suspended animation?
New York can’t go on very lengthy like this. True, we might all spend per week off simply to lastly get via “The Irishman,” however what then? We’re social animals. We want these bars and reveals. The folks whose livelihoods depend upon these companies want them much more. Each waiter, actor, bartender, stagehand, private coach, and ticket taker’s life is in limbo. We’re all holding our breath, and you’ll solely maintain your breath for thus lengthy.
On a regular basis life in New York Metropolis is so making an attempt that simply getting via per week of that is like strolling a barbed-wire tightrope. Plenty of folks and companies barely get by. One horrible week might be deadly to a restaurant or a Broadway present, relying on how their insurance coverage works. New York Metropolis colleges are closed for the following 5 weeks. Are we in for at the very least 5 weeks of shutdown? New York has endured near-bankruptcy, a number of inventory market crashes and a number of other nasty terrorist assaults. Can WuFlu actually be the one factor that makes us put up a “CLOSED FOR THE DURATION” signal?
Another film that involves thoughts: “The Conflict of the Worlds.” Omnipotent aliens come to the tri-state space, chortle at our feeble weapons of conflict and settle in for world domination. Then the aliens begin feeling a bit of achy. They name in sick from their necessary jobs vaporizing people. They cease firing laser cannons and begin chugging Robitussin. Quickly they’re all lifeless of a virus. “Pathetic aliens,” all of us mentioned when the Steven Spielberg film got here out in 2005. “They aren’t tailored to residing on our planet.” How is it that, in any case these years, we’re instantly not tailored to our planet both?