By Dan Carr
This pandemic was very tough for lots of us here in NYC, and I can only imagine everyone shouldered different hardships through that time. I found my community struggling with their second major pandemic in a lifetime, HIV/AIDS being the first. Trust, money, food, housing, social comfort, and community became scarce literally overnight.
Delivering meals gave me the opportunity to connect to individuals in different neighborhoods I may not have visited before. The flexibility required during our build back stretched my design chops beyond my previous imagination. I faced and overcame other challenges I am very proud of, but without going into a long story of transformation and the creepy empty streets, I think I can sum up my lessons to this: Personhood is the most important thing. Personhood is all the qualities and their condition that make an individual person themselves. New York’s diversity as a city makes us strong and our community makes us stronger. The COVID pandemic gave individuals and organizations the chance to show their true colors in how to protect and respect personhood.
I look back and feel a since of relief that things today are somewhat back to “normal”, but I look through a different lens. Have we as a community changed from our COVID lessons to protect the personhood that creates the magic kaleidoscope of NYC? I cherish what an amazing life I get the privilege to live and share with my community here in NYC. I now feel how strongly I must protect my personhood and look for ways I can help others protect theirs. All while creating opportunities for us all to enjoy our time together and our communities.