“Sooner or later, it all gets real.” – Neil Young
Does anyone else remember way back in February when bail reform was the biggest threat to civilization in New York?
There’s nothing like a global pandemic to bring people together – at least that’s the theory. While Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have largely been on the same page, the mayor is doing his best to shame President Trump into mobilizing the army for more help at home. It’s a great barometer of our strange times that Bill de Blasio is calling for an army in the streets while Mitch McConnell is looking to write $1,200 checks for millions of Americans.
With his daily briefings in which he sometimes waxes weirdly poetic, Governor Cuomo has generally been the tough-but-fair father in the family that’s officially run by an angry uncle who has access to a Twitter account. Sure the governor can be a bully -- but he’s our bully. Andy Byford who?
Just as Rudy Giuliani and his Manichean view of the world were a good fit in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Boss Cuomo is well-suited to deal with the pressures with running a state in crisis while also communicating with its residents in a manner that has largely eluded President Trump. And with the exception about calling for New Yorkers to “pause” rather than “shelter in place,” the governor and mayor have thankfully buried their very long hatchet and been using the same owners manual in our escape pod.
It’s important for both the mayor and the governor to constantly remind New Yorkers that the tyranny of an idiotic minority could ruin the health of the majority. In a democracy, my vote can cancel out yours. But in a pandemic, the work of 100 angels can be destroyed by one devil. This is the movie in which the coach potato can finally be the hero.
While it may sometimes feel like we’re living a lost verse of a scary song, we can make it through to the other side. “There’s never been anything like this in history,” the president said last week, ignoring history. The country survived an insane civil war and the far-deadlier Spanish Flu – but that’s still no consolation as we worry about whether or not our parents are staying home or leaving the house to play bridge. We may not remember the Spanish Flu, but many of us were here for 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. And in the wake of those disasters, the city somehow survived and later thrived.
So please leave the house once in a while and go for a walk. Erect a six-foot force field around yourself and remind yourself why you live here. New York, we’re going to make it.