On March 22, 2020, the State of New York entered what would be known as “New York on Pause.” We were being overrun by deadly novel coronavirus or COVID-19. New York was not the only state being affected nor was the United States alone in this battle. It had become a global pandemic. A health crisis like we have never experienced. Locally here in Upstate New York, the closing of businesses and the stay at home orders were creating frustration and fear.
In the week leading up to New York on Pause, I was stricken by what I was hearing from those in my community. Messages of fear and frustration of what was to come. So I decided to begin posting a photo or two a day, calling it the Smile A Day Project, to serve as reminders of memories from the past in the area and, more importantly, as sources of hope of what we have to look forward to when this was all behind us. At first, I was optimistic that this would only last a week; two at the most. I was wrong.
As I write this, we are now on day 56; eight weeks; or two months. I honestly do not know how long this will last or for how long I can keep the project going. The good news is that we began phase one of a four phase plan to reopen the economy yesterday. If all goes well, we will be back to our new normal in six to eight weeks. Yes, our new normal; unfortunately, we must come to terms with the fact that things will never be as they were.