An Empty Times Square on March 22, 2020

Well, here we are. 

To tell individuals to write about “good news” during this time was perhaps a bit unoriginal. Luckily, so, in my opinion.

My optimism can be a bit overwhelming. I will say, first and foremost, that any positivity during this time does come with a sense of privilege. I’m a public school teacher in the Bronx, New York and most of my students have been somehow affected or shaped by COVID-19. This is trauma. This is a period in history where everyone is grieving and we will not dismiss that. And I will say my hardest day was March 20th: Day 1. The city I love was close to being in hysterics. Schools had closed and I hadn’t even had a chance to say “goodbye” to my kids. Any teacher can tell you how devastating that feels. That night was surprisingly the only night I cried during this quarantine. I cried because I missed my kids and I cried about the unknown. 

I was nervous. I knew I had to stay here on my own and isolate because I had already been exposed. I waited and waited as I heard the sound of sirens pass my window constantly. I waited to see if I would get sick and what would happen to our beautiful, resilient, city. 

As the days passed and April came, I told myself not to live in fear. If I was going to get sick and go to the hospital, then I was going to get sick and go to the hospital. My unwavering, “things could be  worse” kept repeating in my ears. Each day I approached with a sense of gratitude. Each day I sent good thoughts to everyone fighting this war. Each day got a bit better.

And again, acknowledging this privilege, I decided that I wanted to make the most of my time alone. Quarantine, after all, was inherently positive. It was something to help keep us safe. So feeling safe and positive, I wrote. I pursued projects and cliche dreams and challenged myself. I stopped making excuses for “not having time”. I tried new things and spoke with friends and family daily. I selfishly even began to enjoy quarantine. I love myself, and I don’t say that lightly. And I realized because of that love, I never once felt alone.

And with that, my mind escaped to my favorite topic: love. I jotted down my favorite love stories. I thought about the people I interacted with every day and the stories they told me. And then I thought, we should all share these stories with each other during a time when we need it most.

So, each week, in an effort to bring a smile to your face and a tug to your heart, we give you a love story. Some are about loving yourself, some are romantic, and some about friends and family. Regardless, I hope reliving the love story for each writer was a sense of pride and even a tiny escape. And I hope that hearing these stories will encourage you to think of your own.

If interested in writing an essay for this project, reach out to me at alexandra.lardis@gmail.com



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