Where is everybody?

Yesterday seemed like a normal day.  People were walking, buses had passengers, restaurants had customers, and grocery and health food stores had people lined up at the door to buy food.

Today was so different.

I needed to buy food at the organic fair and decided to walk there. It felt like I was walking in the Twilight Zone.  There were very few people walking on the streets.  Buses were almost empty.   The subte is closed.  All the furniture stores on Belgrano were closed.  Obviously, President Fernandez told everyone to stay home.  Only food shops and pharmacies are open today.  The city is almost a ghost town at midday.

There are important posters along the streets urging citizens how to take care in this pandemic.  I saw one that warned people not to share mate, drinking cups, or utensils.  Sharing mate with the same bombilla is a cultural standard for Argentinians.  I hope they can make the adjustment quickly.

I walked from my apartment to Corrientes and Callao, where I decided it was time to return.  It was a lovely walk on a beautiful sunny day with quiet streets and almost no traffic.  I wasn’t going to find the organic fair at the plaza near Teatro Colon open as usual.  Tomorrow there is another organic fair a block from my apartment where I can buy most of what I need for the week.

 

When I arrived at my block, I immediately thought about my neighbors, the Taylor family who live two doors away.  Albert and his wife Ngozi were born in Nigeria. Their three daughters were born in Buenos Aires.  Albert drives a taxi which is their only source of income.   I didn’t see one taxi on the streets today, so that means Albert has no work to provide for his family.  The girls are studying at home this week since all schools are closed.  I haven’t seen them for a week and miss them all.  The girls started in the school orchestra program two years ago and practice in my apartment.  For the meantime, even our daily walks are suspended.

Felicitas plays the cello, and Emanuela plays the violin. This is the music studio for their practice sessions.  I turned the living room into a yoga studio for them.

4 Responses to “Where is everybody?”

  1. tangogeoff Says:

    Yes, it’s such a difficult time all over the world. We’re thinking of you, Janis. ❤️❤️❤️🤗🤗🤗

  2. jantango Says:

    Love back to you and Beth.

  3. Bliss Says:

    It’s shocking to hear that it could have been so normal as recently as March 19. The rest of the world has been on total lockdown for many weeks. When I imagine what it must be like now down there, I imagine what it is like on a typical Sunday during football season….

  4. jantango Says:

    I was on my way to a concert at Usina del Arte in La Boca on Saturday, March 7 at 6:00. As the bus passed Parque Lezama, it was obvious that there was a Boca Juniors game that night because the street was full of men in BJ shirts. The bus driver said the game started at 9:00pm, so that gave me hope of getting a return bus after the concert before the street was mobbed with fans. I experienced this scene a couple of years ago and hoped I could avoid it that night. After hearing Beethoven’s fifth symphony performed by the Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, my friend and I quickly realized that we were not going to get on our usual bus. The police were out in full force in the streets prepared for incidents. We walked to the closest main street and got on a bus that took us away from La Boca and to where we both could take the subway home. It was out of our way, but we were safe. We took time to enjoy playing the beautiful piano set up in the Correo Central subway station for the public.

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