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The New Norm As We Adjust To The Pandemic

Monday, March 30, 2020: We begin the third week of this Coronavirus Pandemic and isolation period. From this perspective, it has been difficult with adjusting to a new lifestyle of staying  home and following procedures to stay safe.

With no sports, a lifestyle here that is a daily ritual, that called for adjustments. Social distancing, washing the hands more often, taking a quick walk to buy essentials, return home, and discover those other things to pass time are a new routine.

Today, this means another day without baseball and Game 4 off the schedule at Citi Field. The Mets were scheduled to open a three game series with the Phillies Monday night.

Instead of  preparing the bag for work with necessities of pens, laptop, notepad, information about the teams, a new routine is viewing news and updates regarding the Pandemic on CNN, Fox, local channels. Editors are revising their game plan and we are told to write about a virus and different routines that has put us in unchartered territory.

Tell you the truth, and as much as this sounds off the chart, I would rather be at the ballpark in a few hours after crossing the Whitestone Bridge from the Bronx to Queens. Seeing Citi Field and entering through the Gil Hodges Press Gate would be the routine.

Taking the press elevator, saying hello to security and stadium personnel, watching batting practice on the field by the dugouts, talking to the players, eating a press dining room meal with colleagues, and back to the press box should be the routine.

All ending with a visit to the clubhouses for postgame quotes. And the final culmination is writing,  filing that deadline content, returning home, with a similar routine the next day if there was not a postponed game that was caused by inclement weather this time of year.

Baseball is a long season. The routine for the players is the same for us in the press box. We are known as those creatures of habit. 

Instead, we are home. Isolation, if adjusted right, becomes a routine and time passes by with some writing, cleaning the closets, watching classic sports highlights. Calling and texting more with family, friends, and neighbors, and we should do that more often with no excuses for a crisis to do so.

Yes, we are a changing society and it came faster than a speeding bullet and strike of lightning.   So, up here in the Bronx, in proximity of Pelham Bay Park, it is quiet. 

The streets are quiet. Usually this is a boisterous neighborhood with traffic, honk of car horns, sirens of first responders and residents going about their business. Instead, there is silence and dark of one business after another with locks and chains on the door.

 Essential stores and pharmacies are open.  Restaurants, open during limited hours, have a reduced staff and there for takeout orders, Chairs and tables are uplifted to show they are following regulations of a city in a state of emergency.

You don’t know many, but now we all know each other. We are, as they say, in this together and sharing thoughts about this Pandemic is a form of therapy with different opinions and how we are adjusting to this new norm.

And with exception of the elevated and noisy 6 train, running on a limited schedule, that is the only sound of a neighborhood. Tell you the truth, a quiet neighborhood, without that constant rumble of a train, is good for the hearing.

Buses also are empty as one passes on a normal route. Boarding from the back and not the front, is no longer fare evasion but this is a Pandemic and people are staying home.

So why venture out? 

“Need to take that walk and stretch the legs,” said a quiet couple. “We keep our distance from others. We are making the adjustments.”

They wear the protective gloves for the hands and faces are covered with the masks which is also the  new norm. But, they, like many, don’t want to compare this to being a prison in our homes. Unfortunate, though, this crisis has left no other options but to stay home and be safe.

The new norm is also cooking the meals at home. Forgot to mention, writers are creative and that also applies to those skills in the kitchen. The baked ziti was good, so was a home cooked and good steak the night before. 

However, we would rather have baseball now. We would prefer watching all sports this time of year instead of catching up with a favorite TV series on the networks. 

Oh, the season finale of “The Walking Dead” will have to wait. Next Sunday night the series goes to pause with a penultimate episode as post production was stopped due to the Pandemic. 

And in many ways some have compared this adjustment to living in the walking dead,  with many theories, though we should not make that comparison.

But this is the new norm. The adjustments are necessary as the goal is to get that number down of coronavirus cases. Follow the procedures and in a matter of time we can slowly get back to normal.

Share your routine with others. Social media can be a good thing and we are hearing about the new routines.  Important as always, STAY SAFE. We are in this together!

Comment: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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