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Traveling‌ ‌to‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌City‌ ‌During‌ ‌the‌ ‌Pandemic

COVID-19 has certainly impacted billions of people around the globe. Every country and states are working hard in their own way to stop the spread of the virus. The word “Social Distancing” might have been the highlight of 2020 as it is the way we combat the virus. Staying home is one way to do it, but after 2 months of boredom and loneliness, it gets to the point that it is unbearable. Therefore, I came up with some ideas to breath the fresh air and get as far away from home while being responsible and social distancing.

New York City

I packed up my lunch, hopped on my car and started to drive north into New York City. As some of you might be aware of, driving around New York City has never been a good idea. However, COVID-19 has left the city streets empty and makes it drivable. I had the chance to experience the empty Times Square from the inside of my car, which would never happen before this pandemic. I can stop on the side of the road, taking a picture, and there were not a single car honking at me. After exploring the empty Manhattan, I drove down to Coney Island to get some vitamin “sea”. There were very few people, that were so far away from each other due to the abundant amount of space that the beach had to offer. I could actually got off my car and enjoy the beach without actually getting in close proximity to anyone. It was a great adventure in the city, but the country-side have a lot more to offers.

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The following day was my brother’s birthday, and my mom was arranging this drive-thru birthday parade for him where the family and friends lining up to drive by our street, in front of our house that was decorated for the party. People brought presents and happy birthday signs for my brother. Some of them went all out and blew the confetti from the car and even decorated their car to turn up the festive. After participating in my brother’s birthday parade, I decided to take the I-476 up north without knowing where I am heading. I started to see beautiful Pennsylvania’s mountains just outside of my window and took the next exit to see what is around to explore. I ended up in a Switzerland-like small town called Jim-Thorpe. I drove up to the mountain and started to hike to see the town from above and the view was magnificent. I could hear the church bell ringing from the town along with the bird chirping. That was the prettiest sounds I have heard in a while. I went down to the town and get some Sundae and bring it back up to the mountain so I can take off my mask and enjoy it with no other people within close proximity. It has been nothing but delightful experience.

COVID-19 and Social Distancing might have changed our way of life in such dramatic turn and it could be frustrating. Sooner than later, people will be out and about. There are ways to go out of the house while practicing social distancing and not risking the lives of other. It might not be as limitless as it used to, but it is doable as long as we are conscious of the safety rules. At least that would give us a good, refreshing weekend for the sake of our mental health after being quarantined for a while. Be responsible and have fun!

Franciskus Liem