Riding Metro North. With El ConVirus.

El ConVirus.

Platforms sparse.

Wide berth between waiting commuters.

Subways with empty seats during Peak hours.

Hands tentatively reaching for hand rails, door handles.

Hand shakes replaced with knuckle bumps and elbow touches. Followed by Smirks. The new greeting code.  Disquiet.

Travel curtailed, discontinued. Conferences cancelled.  Large meetings shifted to conference calls.

Corporates scrambling to pull together Business Continuity Plans. First one, then two, then more work from home, with sniffles, with flu, with Something.

Fear spreading like Bay Area fog.

I twist in my earbuds, fire up Audible Books on Tape, and settle in for the commute home.

75% through Colum McCann’s Apeirogon.  “Apeirogon, a polygon having an infinite number of sides...Combing the signals like moisture from the air.”

A cough. A sneeze. Duck for cover.

Combing the signals like moisture from the air.


Photo: Pierre Bacus via Aberrant Beauty


  1. Same here, minus the subway. Gatherings of more than 1k ppl forbidden. So, how come all the trains still function? HH washes hands thoroughly before leaving home, again upon arrival at work, then every hour…. personal meetings have been all but changed to skype or web-mtgs (not bad, saves man hours and money for travel), but around here we don’t really suffer much. The upside is that ppl now obviously DO wash their paws more often and longer, but still, don’t you dare coughing…. It’s ‘amazing’ (not in a good way) what a virus can do to the whole world, the industry, production, the human behaviour, creating such Angst and trepidation…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 🧻 🚽 🧻 And we have no toilet paper left in the country… 🤭😩

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post – here’s a fist bump 👊 for you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Concerns about the virus … ‘A cough. A sneeze. Duck for cover.
    Combing the signals like moisture from the air.’ … where will it take all?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. this was what it was like in Singapore about a month ago, but it seems to have gotten better; masks and hand sanitizer are more readily available, and the panic seems to have subsided a bit. hopefully the U.S. follows the same pattern.

    by the way, congrats on hitting 10,000 wordpress followers! I should be there in about 25 years…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A situation like this is really the great equalizer. Doesn’t matter your station in life, you could be struck just as easily as the next guy (or gal). Hard to determine just how worried to be. Want to be prudent, but don’t want to give in to panic. I am grateful that I work from home and can ‘shelter in place’ more easily, but lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Your writing captures the mood beautifully, pal. Stay safe…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. fear is heavy in the shared air

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Really good post David! You caught the disquiet perfectly. Lets be cautiously practical until flu season is over. Everything passes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reminds me of John Brunner’s spare terse style in one of my favorite books. Surprised I hadnt made the connection before with the way you write.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. One good thing about blogging friends – we won’t spread any virus through cyberspace. Stay well, DK.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I have the luxury of home. My husband. Me. The dog. We have chosen not to go away for awhile, though I am going to a mountain retreat for a week of painting — by myself.

    I agree with others, the sparseness of your writing is brilliant. You capture the essence of the environment in which we are living truthfully.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Strange how it must be in cities, this way. Meanwhile life goes on in countrysides everywhere … I tend to think people are overreacting, reinforcing outcomes with their shared fears. Guess we’ll see where it all goes. 🌈🌏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. All of this is good: the cancelled meetings, the sparse commuter crowd, the fist bumps. We have to do these things to minimize the possibility of transmission. It will spread, no doubt, but I think we can make a difference in the severity of it. Still, it is, like this post, strange and disquieting.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yanno… I just came back from a week-long cruise. Yes, just like they always have, we spritz our hands everywhere we go and then enjoy ourselves. I was worried La Guardia would be a nuthouse but no, all was quiet (course it was 9 pm). Got to Burlington, even more dead at 11 pm. Drove home and laughed at the road signs giving numbers re the virus instead of traffic info. They do like to manage by fear, don’t they?
    And, by the way, I am not saying it isn’t serious but people. Toilet paper? Emptying the shelves of soap? Wash your hands and don’t touch your face. And move on.

    Liked by 1 person

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