Brooklyn, 25 March 2020
I am at home and trying to keep focused on my new novel. Like many of us I find myself in a tug of war with the news around the coronavirus: alternately exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically, needing distance but checking in to see the latest. Jon Wagg, whom you’ve meet while he came to my reading in Cologne and who works in Pharmaceutical Research for Roche in Basel, called me on Sunday while I was out walking the dog and predicted that New York is on the same path as Italy. He gave tips for well-being and stressed being a bit overly cautious because this virus is like the common cold, which doctors still don't have a cure for. It was a sobering conversation, as I am in one of the hot zones.
I hope you and and the Fischer team are keeping well. How glad I am now that we drank wine and had that lovely meal in the little Italian restaurant in Cologne and good conversation. This was a blessing. I am an optimist. This bleak time will pass at some point: I hope sooner than later.
And the world will right itself again. Hopefully, in a better, more human way. Though we close down borders, the virus mocks the very borders we close following the rich who try to escape the poor and sailors in the middle of the ocean. The lesson: we are truly all in this together – and it is human folly to think otherwise.