Bylivet har våknet igjen

Folk i gatene, og åpne kafeer og pubber. Regin Winther Poulsen gleder seg til at livet er ved å komme tilbake til det normale igjen i New York.
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Regin Winther Poulsen er journalist fra Færøyene, men har studert og er bosatt i New York. Under pandemien har han oppholdt seg i New York for det meste, og har ikke hatt anledning til å reise hjem til Færøyene, eller til Brasil, der kjæresten, Sofia Moutinho, kommer fra. De er begge journalister, og det er Sofia som har tatt bildene fra New York, som er med i denne luftposten.

Regin Winther Poulsen
Regin Winther Poulsen

                                                                                                                                                        New York, may 2021


The city is back… Or will be!

A few weeks ago, I went to cafe Reggio, an old iconic coffeehouse in the Village. Since I moved to New York in August 2019, I’ve been coming there regularly with friends. Even during the pandemic, I sometimes went there with friends and had something to drink in the outside area. But this time was different.

Reggio. Foto: Sofia Moutinho
Reggio. Foto: Sofia Moutinho

When I stepped out of the subway, It was like I had been thrown one and a half years back in time. Downtown Manhattan was packed with people! Getting from the station to the beer was, like in pre-pandemic times, a challenge. And as we had our beverages, we watched streams of people walking past the bar, many without masks. Everyone was having fun – many had too much to drink.

This weekend was just a few days after New York had made the vaccine available for everyone older than 16. I had been vaccinated a few weeks before, and even though this last year has been crazy, sitting in a bar downtown Manhattan, as if life was normal, offered solitude. Maybe we’re getting back to slightly more normal times.

Last week, the CDC announced that masks are not necessary anymore for people in open spaces. Most people are still wearing masks or keeping them close, ready to cover their mouth and nose if needed. It doesn’t seem like masks are ever gonna go.

When the pandemic hit New York, I was close to completing my education at Columbia University. Overnight, the city closed down. The area around the university was changed. No one was outside on the normally so busy streets. The situation in the city was terrifying, and the change was so visible.

New York 5. mai 2021. Foto: Sofia Moutinho
New York 5. mai 2021. Foto: Sofia Moutinho

As it was announced on May 5th this year that New York is reopening, it’s difficult to grasp how bad the situation was a year ago. And even though not all restrictions have been lifted yet, the change is already happening.

I’ll soon be going home, to The Faroe Islands, for the first time in almost two years. The Faroes have, for some time, been back to normal with all social activities almost at the same level as in pre-pandemic times. But I’m wondering if New York will return to its former life when I get back later this summer. Or will it ever? Will the country forever stay changed?







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