Living in lockdown in NYC

Jun 30, 2020
It's hard to believe now, but New York has been on lockdown since the weekend before St Patrick's Day. The city that never sleeps has been sleeping, but as people grow restless, there are signs that it is starting to arise again. 

Moving to online work

The city was still running right up until the week before St Patrick's Day. As news started to develop, businesses started making plans for remote workers. Wall Street started delivering screens and arranging remote access for people to continue working from home. I was finishing up my old job that month so I began working from home earlier. As I left the WeWork office in the finance district, I couldn't help but think what will the future of office work look like and that WeWork was on its last legs. 

Numerous friends who own or run bars in the city have had to close down. They are still closed and have to negotiate rent with landlords. An uncertain future for businesses awaits. Friends have had to fly home, due to their jobs being closed for at least three months. Just after the lockdown announcement, the city was tense. Shops had long queues. People were wary of each other. 

Adjusting to a new life

Overall, working from home has been OK. My girlfriend and I are fortunate to still have our jobs. However the apartment is small, parks are quite a distant walk away. I sure wish I was in Donegal now! It has been stressful at times but we have implemented a routine so that we are not stepping on each other's toes. The battle between Cuomo and Trump raged, news reports (opinions) from CNN & Fox vary.

After a number of weeks, the weather has gotten better and people are getting frustrated. Parks are getting busier. Certain States amazingly have started to reopen early with little or no phasing or planning to control the virus. Scenes of pool parties over the holiday weekend are all over the news. New York is a long way off. People have abandoned the city and it feels like it won't return to the same as it did before. However, there have been acts of kindness. People offering free masks or helping elderly with shopping in our building. I am really enjoying my new job and I'm looking forward to getting back when the times right. Other friends have said that they will not be returning to the office until at least October. 

Looking to the future

On May 27th Cuomo rang the bell in the New York Stock Exchange floor to reopen it in a largely symbolic move. I look forward to getting back, but I hope that people stay safe in doing so. I'm looking forward to meeting up with everyone at ACAUS in our events in NY. Stay safe (and sane) everyone.

Breiffni Ó Domhnaill - Global Payroll Tech Leader - Immedis, New York