The Frederick Gunn Student Newspaper

The City that Sleeps

By Bennett Lax ’23

The City that never sleeps finally slept. No anxious businessman walking to a meeting, no newly minted 21 years old stumbling home from bars, no taxi drivers zooming through the streets, no people that are so high, that they don’t even know where they are moving through the park, and no troublemaking children hanging out on corners. New York City was silent, it was an eerie silence, a scary, weird silence. It was like no sensation I had ever experienced, the impossible was accomplished, New York City was dead silent. 

The official New York City website states many new rules due to Covid-19, so many changes to the once bustling city. The biggest sticking out rule to me was, “No more than 50 people together at any time.” There’s always hundreds of people at parties, hangout spots, and parks. The night life is insane in New York, and with one rule, it all changed. Another big rule was, “People must stay home, unless it is absolutely necessary that they leave home.” This rule is probably even more impactful than the last. No more going to school, no more hanging out with friends, no more protests, and no more going out to Lunch. It truly felt like the world was ending.

Students from the city struggled with the new rules. When asked for comments, a Manhattanite Andrew Fisher replied, “It felt like a part of the city was missing, and we couldn’t find it.” “Our culture was gone, and it just didn’t feel like home.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, it truly felt like an alien place, it was not the New York City I grew up in, and fell in love with.

As someone who was actually in the city during the period, I can fully say it was absolutely shocking. I grew up near Times Square; it was always so busy, and bustling. It was eerie and terrifying that something could actually make New York shut down. When I look at the above picture, the situation really hits you. I realize just how “screwed” we, as Americans really are. It’s exactly like the Titanic. Unsinkable until it sinks. New York never shuts down until it does. Despite all the bad things, I can definitely say that New York is resilient, strong, and a role model for other states. The fact that New York made it through these hardships speaks to the fact that New York epitomizes resilience and strength. 

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