A Game of Cat and Mouse

A Game of Cat and Mouse

Mid-March, I was faced with a hard decision. I had helped the family I nanny for flee the city and now I was facing the same dilemma. Do I stay in New York and wait out COVID-19, or do I go back to Nebraska?

The next day I took the first available flight to Lincoln, Nebraska and spent the next 14 days in quarantine. During those first 14 days, I watched as my NYC home sunk more and more into devastation. I was happy to be away and safe yet heartbroken that I was unable to support my friends and colleagues going through hell on the east coast.

However, the midwest wasn't safe from the pandemic either.

Numbers continued to rise throughout the country, but I couldn't help but notice a difference in the general reaction to the disease. I heard more and more people calling COVID-19 a hoax, or that it as just as bad as the flu. Not worse.

Hearing those words while fearing for the lives of my friends in NYC was gut wrenching.

I heard words negating the severity of COVID-19 from strangers passing by, by people on the news, community signs, etc. I even hear my dentist remark how "silly this all was" while I was getting my teeth cleaned.

I continued to watch as the number of deaths in NYC slowly decreased and plans of action were detailed by Governor Cuomo. I saw my friends posting on social media saying that they were doing better now and had decided to help in any way that they could to find a vaccine.

I watched and I watched and I watched.

New York City is now one of the safest places in this country. I never thought I'd see the day that NYC would become the epicenter of safety and cleanliness while the rest of the country struggled.

I know the majority of people DO consider COVID-19 serious. But I have a few words for those who believe the pandemic is a ploy from the democratic party and that masks are meant to inhibit their human rights.


A global disease killing thousands and thousands of people SHOULD NOT be and IS NOT a political issue. I wear a mask because I want my neighbor to be breathing the next day. I wear a mask because I don't want my sister to re-schedule or cancel her wedding AGAIN. I wear a mask because I want to be able to grab drinks with my friends and family someday and NOT worry about the risk of bringing death along.

By not wearing a mask, you are telling me, and everyone, that you don't care if I die. You don't care if your family gets sick. You don't care that so many innocent lives have already fallen and continue to fall. You are telling me that you would rather politicize the situation and let DEATH WIN.

Just wear the mask! Listen to the scientists and your doctors. Listen to the people who KNOW what they are talking about because they are professionals.

As of this past Monday, I am now back in NYC again and I will admit that I am beyond happy. I'm returning home. A part of me feels like I'm fleeing once again, however. I grew up in Nebraska and became who I am because o the amazing people around me. Yet, I feel as thought I am fleeing COVID-19 once again.

For the sake of your fellow humans and for the sake of your community, PLEASE don't politicize the pandemic and PLEASE listen to your better judgement. If it sounds like I'm begging, well, GOOD.

I hope you all remain safe and healthy. Hang in there.

-Samantha Noonan


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