Essentially Expendable

The snow came down yesterday in great big dollops, not lazy, feathery dollops either, but ambitious snowballs that needed to reach the ground quickly. An early spring surprise after a winter of unusual mildness. I watched bemusedly from my closed porch as the Monday morning crept along ever so slowly.

I was supposed to go to work, despite the orders from the New York governor to remain at home to help curtail the spread of Covid-19, unless you provided essential services or were food shopping. Apparently, I belong to an essential class of workers. I help build new, high rise apartment buildings in New York City. How is that essential, one might ask. It’s not, of course, but the powers that be have decided we can continue our trade, even though most of us are not building infrastructure or hospitals. I suspect the governor has made a decision based more on money than medicine. You see, I am economically essential, but socially expendable.

There is somewhere in the range of 200,000 construction workers banging away at hundreds of projects throughout the 5 boroughs. None of whom can work at home obviously. Send them all home and the economic fallout would be quite disastrous. I’m sure somebody whispered in the governor’s ear, we work outside; we can keep a distance from each other (anybody who has ever gone up in the morning hoist can have a laugh at that); we’re already wearing masks, gloves, and goggles. I’m sure the governor took comfort in those whispers, but it was the bankers and real estate tycoons who really talked loudest.

I’m watching Italy fall into the clutches of the disease. I wonder how closely the USA will follow down that path. I wonder if the governor hasn’t made a terrible bargain.

middleaged #manspov

#nycconstruction #nyc #lastfirstkiss #love #aging #fiction #coronavirus #covid-19

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