Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Disappearing Act

Last time we brought up the ‘disappearing acts” of what we had BP (Before Pandemic) and what we lost. the comments were very thoughtful.

Any sense of normalcy has evaporated for those of us 70 and above, and will not return in our lifetimes.

-Lauren

Readers like John miss the fellowship of being in an office, the friends at restaurants and much more, and concludes,”We lost more than we know to this covid pandemic, and the real damage will be felt for years.”

 

For one reader, the damage is immediate.

…There are things BP that I miss, but more like affordable vegetables and basic courtesy. Life just got tougher on folks already struggling, it would be nice if that was reflected more in AARP publications.
-Sylvia W. 

Sorry you feel that way, Sylvia – we’ll try to do better next time.

Several readers pointed out the drastic shift in shopping habits…

We now live in a third world type country shopping-wise. When you want to purchase something these days you often must take what is available rather than what you really wanted….

-John

Readers like Joy and Beatrice miss retail shopping and favorite stores (Century 21!), and Belinda models the resilience that got us through.

 

 Bang! Lost the job, January 2020, another March 2020. Left my state, now living with family, staying healthy altogether, patience( oh my) tech skill and fitness classes online with new friends since 2020 is a welcome beginning !

-Belinda

We’ll leave the comments open for a while – feel free to add your own!
Original Column below:

I look back at the time BP (Before Pandemic) with a pair of rose-tinted glasses. Gem Spa was still around!  You could look at people’s faces!  Walking on the sidewalk didn’t involve an obstacle course with bags of trash on one side and sidewalk sheds on the other! You could visit other people and go to gatherings and not need proof of vaccination!  Stores gave out free food samples! Masks were for Halloween!

Changes

Life has definitely changed since then…for good (so many more people are on board with washing their hands, telecommuting is now a thing).

And for the not so good – like businesses that were part of my inner map of my hometown. Lord and Taylor (read about it here); Gem Spa and its egg creams; the Roosevelt Hotel (my go to when I needed a clean restroom in Midtown); the Cupping Room (from my Camelot days); the New York Health and Racquet Club gym chain (my exercise program took a BIG hit).

I miss the people that worked at these places too – all  out of work). I miss stores open 24 hours, and full store shelves.  Luckily, I haven’t lost anyone to Covid but I know plenty of people who have.

What disappeared? 

The plague has certainly taken more than its share from us, some minor, some major, some drawbacks and some improvements.  I’ve shared some of mine.

But how about you? What disappeared during the Plague? Tell us about it in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send  Open Thread suggestions to editor@seniorplanet.org.

 

COMMENTS

11 responses to “Open Thread Update: Disappearing Act

  1. In the process of having to regroup about businesses being so scared that they are not able to be hospitable and allow another human the right to use a bathroom makes me boil. Before the pandemic they were being bios to the homeless. Since the pandemic it feels like they are choosing who they want to share with based on unspoken bias. Not allowing a fellow human basic rights is the lowest of lows as an influential society. “We” have gone so far from basic that it is showing up in our children!

  2. Any sense of normalcy has evaporated for those of us 70 and above, and will not return in our lifetimes. I’ve never been comfortable with people coming in close to me, but now I avoid it strenuously.

    It also facilitated extreme ideologies. No question that’s worse. Ironically, I find more people willing to smile, so there’s hope.

  3. We lost more than we know to this covid pandemic, and the real damage will be felt for years.

    I lost the friendship in the camaraderie of being in an office, standing around with a cup of coffee, and sharing ideas with coworkers.

    We lost good local restaurants that employed people who were not just waiters and waitresses but friends. More chains seem to have survived.

    We missed doctor’s appointments and tests. We will not know what we missed health-wise.

    We lost some of our freedoms.

  4. There seems to be an overall ‘privileged’ attitude prevalent in AARP and its satellite newsletters. It reminds me of the so called financial advice articles that start with ‘stop buying Starbucks every day’, SMH
    There are things BP that I miss, but more like affordable vegetables and basic courtesy.
    Life just got tougher on folks already struggling, it would be nice if that was reflected more in AARP publications.
    Cranky today, sorry not sorry – it needed to be said.

  5. Unless I am traveling, I no longer go to restaurants in my home town. I hate that restaurants think we can’t eat or drink unless we’re watching sports on multiple big screens! I hate the loud music! And, the food keeps getting worse and worse. Bacon is so prevalent that anyone trying to keep kosher and/or Muslims can’t eat in most restaurants.
    Before the COVID shutdown during 2020, conventions were big business, and there were conventions for everything and everyone. Now, there is zoom.

  6. We now live in a third world type country shopping-wise. When you want to purchase something these days you often must take what is available rather than what you really wanted. I noticed this trend start after the Trump administration started adding all the tariff’s. The pandemic and the supply line slowdown may have had some effect but the tariff’s started it.

  7. I have mixed feelings about BP and now, about “work”. For nearly 12 years before Covid19, thought of myself as my work: Intense fundraising for environmental & social change. Great clients, supportive supervisors, donations. I was good. I loved that job. Bang! Lost the job, January 2020, another March 2020. Left my state, now living with family, staying healthy altogether, patience( oh my) tech skill and fitness classes online with new friends since 2020 is a welcome beginning !

  8. Clean streets have disappeared …. According to morning news, alternate side rules are in effect, but many do not move their cars so the sweepers can not come through. People are just not following rules and there are no consequences. No one gets tickets for not moving. There are at least three cars on my block (main avenue in Brooklyn) whose registration stickers have been scrapped off. Some cars do not have plates but are still sitting on a major road.

  9. There was a great Century 21 department store on Long Island (New York). It was massive and had every department you’d need and bountiful sales. As I started to venture back into the world to buy a gift, not online but through the physicality of browsing inventory, my heart dropped as I realized I would not be angling for a parking space. Looming out my windshield was a shuttered, massive concrete abandoned building. And it’s not coming back – like much else we lost.

  10. -Where are all the workers in retail & restaurants. Sadly sparce.
    Restaurants closed, portions got smaller and prices higher. Many closed due to lack of staff.
    -Personality changes. Many angry & argumentive folks.
    -The schools are experiencing a lot of behavior issues. Teachers are leaving the profession because they are expected to “handle it”.
    I could go on and on about this subject!!!

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