As I sit down to write this column, it is early April, and I’m not sure what the future has in store for us. I don’t even know what tomorrow has in store for us. It’s hard to think about anything other than what’s going on in the world right now, let alone write about anything else. I am sure you can relate and feel the same—this global health crisis is on everyone’s mind, it’s the topic of almost every conversation and on the news constantly. I am just starting to get into a “quarantine-routine,” which helps the hours and days go by.

During these past few weeks, I know many of you feel hopeless and down. So many of the things we look forward to have been cancelled or put on hold. Get-togethers with friends, seeing family, date nights, happy hour with co-workers, weddings, concerts and vacations. At times, it feels like we have lost so much. Even the things I didn’t think I would miss, I have been yearning for. Working out in my tiny NYC gym, long days at the office, even my crowded subway commutes.

But what have we gained? An inspiring sense of community, neighbors being there for each other, a feeling of oneness that we are all in this together. Every night at 7 p.m., we open our windows to the sound of fellow New Yorkers cheering and clapping for the health care workers keeping our city afloat. I have witnessed friends donating food to hospitals, grocery shopping for sick neighbors and people just going out of their way to be kind. I have seen co-workers, family members and friends checking in on each other with a text, phone call or video chat.

 I believe—and truly hope—that this has given us all a refreshed outlook on life and all the things we take for granted each day. I’ve been going out for daily walks alone lately (something I am embarrassed to admit I rarely ever did before—my excuse would have been I have no time!) and I can’t help but notice how wonderfully amazing my neighborhood and city really is. I am lucky—I live in Manhattan, I open my door and see people from all walks of life, beautiful buildings and shops, museums and tons of history. I cannot help but feel this deep sense of gratitude within me.

The thing really getting me through this is knowing that it is only temporary. Just think about how amazing it will be the day all the travel bans, social distancing and quarantines are lifted. We will go out to restaurants again, catch a flight somewhere, gather with friends and family. The possibilities are truly endless.

Jillian Urcelay
Associate Editor
[email protected]