Dear Brooklyn Readers,
In Gabriel García Márquez's 1985 novel, "Love in the Time of Cholera," lovesickness and obsession are compared to an infectious disease, such as cholera.
In the book, a teenage couple are part of a decades-long love affair that never fully materialized and during which they lived separate lives. Ultimately, they unite as seniors and sober to the reality of what real, healthy love actually entails: a desire to work together through each others' struggles.
The reason why any of this matters is after noticing the title of the book on my bookshelf, re-reading the summary and remembering the story, I regained an understanding of how passion-- or an intense desire for ownership-- does more harm than good. I saw parallels between that story and New York City today, with our own conflicts around the things and people we love, in the time of coronavirus, and here's why:
New Yorkers love to socialize. We're a pedestrian city that is accustomed to leaving our homes at a moment's notice to grab something at a bodega or hopping on our bikes to make a quick grocery run.
We're unique in that most of us mind crowds less than the average American, and despite our reputation for coldness, we're actually a friendly "People City," fueled and energized by high productivity, conversations and movement.
That is why, in New York City--more than any other U.S. city-- social distancing may be the hardest, yet, most important thing we will ever have to do.
During this time of social distancing, we've basically been given an assignment to save this city we love. And it's important we take this assignment seriously.
Loving in the time of coronavirus is going to require some big adjustments, so if we truly love this city, we're going to have to switch things up.
We can still love, but without the excess:
Let's love and heal old wounds in our families by spending more time talking to each other.
Let's love our souls by laughing more, meditating more, or discovering virtual ways to give back to your community.
Let's love and heal our bodies through new diet and workout regimens and more rest.
Let's love our brains by reading more books and putting world affairs ahead of online love affairs.
Let's love this time of distance (yes, let's learn to love it) in order to help save this city and heal the planet in this time of coronavirus.
C. Zawadi Morris, Publisher, BK Reader