Solitude in Central Park
It’s April in a year that will no doubt go down in history books, and we are in an “Awakening” State of Mind. Wow, could that not be more true.
The world has changed since my last letter in ways we could not have fathomed. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) a global pandemic. For weeks, we have witnessed the devastating effects of this disease, and we have also been deeply inspired by the strength of the human spirit.
We hope you are all staying safe, keeping healthy, and using this time at home in positive ways with your family, friends, and pets. Here are a few articles we have posted recently with helpful resources and information: Fresh ideas to entertain family and children at home; how to make your own hand sanitizer and other information for staying safe; and how to make face masks that can help those on our frontlines, as well as ourselves. Working with our makers, we will also continue to offer free shipping on our Marketplace throughout April.
Days ago when we heard about New York State’s shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment), we reached out to our makers asking those who are able to sew N95-like masks for healthcare workers and hospitals in need to do so. If you are reading this and you can help, please email us at Info@NewYorkMakers.com.
To our frontline heroes -- healthcare workers, police officers, military and emergency personnel, mail carriers, cashiers and grocery workers, delivery drivers -- we could not face this fight without you and we thank you for your courageous service. We have certainly woken up collectively to the essential roles these individuals provide.
Press play to watch a time-lapse of USNS Comfort arriving in New York City on March 30, 2020
We also appreciate with new clarity as we social distance and stay at home how, despite our continuing shift to a more digital and automated world (made more swift, perhaps, in our confinement), human beings need physical-space connection and community and can be remarkably creative finding ways to satisfy that craving for connectivity. To name just a few: neighborhoods organizing scavenger hunts for families with children, social media being used as a streaming tool for live yoga classes, musical performances, cooking demos, and more (some very smart people even suggest these shelter-in-place orders may encourage “a healthier digital lifestyle”), family and friends using applications like Houseparty to virtually socialize in large groups, and the unforgettable videos emerging from Italy of residents, who were sheltering in place, playing musical instruments and singing together from their balconies and windows. Ultimately, we care about each other’s well-being, and we miss one another’s company.
This month on our Magazine, we will continue doing our part to provide connectivity by sharing a great line-up of “Awakening” stories, as well as keeping you updated on maker-related COVID-19 news as best we can, including lists of our favorite New York State places to see the sunrise (be mindful of social distancing!), wellness retreats (to start planning for when we can travel beyond our doorways and front yards), and must-visit restaurants in every region (perhaps some are offering take-out even now; they will need our support more than ever once restrictions are lifted). We also sit down with our makers, Charles and Martin of 2 Queens Honey and Anna of Willow & Birch Apothecary, about how their product lines awaken the soul and senses in very different ways. Also not to miss this month, an insight-filled interview with artist Robert Zakanitch, one of the founders of the Pattern and Decoration movement. “Where art appears, things always get better.” Zakanitch tells us.
We say goodbye to our very fierce March. Despite being a tough month for many of us globally, it was also pretty spectacular in at least one way for New York Makers. Our Herkimer Diamond Necklace, sold exclusively on our Marketplace and made by Joan Hornig, was featured in a sustainable gift guide in the April print edition of The Oprah Magazine, which proved to be a blessing and a lifeline. We are grateful to Oprah and her team as it has kept our hands extra busy and our minds laser-focused!
Small comforts are so important right now. Remember to be there for each other. Stay strong. This too shall pass. Allow April to open your eyes in new ways and inspire hope. We’re all in this together.