For those of you who may have been keeping up with the news about COVID-19, or just not living under a rock in general, NYC is not doing so well with retaining a lot of its population. Now I’ve long become a fan of what the city offers but COVID-19 has put a damper on that. I recently got news this past Friday that my company is going to let everyone work remotely until the end of 2020, as you can see, this is quite exciting for me.

So much has happened to the city since COVID-19 that even though things are slowly getting back to normal with the potential of July being the month it all reopens (complete guess by me here), I actually believe that the rest of 2020 will be different for NYC. The bars and nightlife which give the city its character are not going to be open for quite some time and will not feel the same for the rest of 2020.

For me personally, I have found that a large number of my friends have left the city and it is a trend highlighted in news with the suburbs being a popular place. My close friends have opted to go back to Florida for example and live the beach life as they work remote, a dream in many ways. One of my friends has gone to Rhode Island and a beautiful beach town there as he works there. A good buddy of mines has even gone to family in Colorado to be more with nature. My apartment building is even starting to feel a bit empty with people not around anymore, I wonder how they will keep up with the rent.

The vibe in the city.

In a word, the city is empty and does feel like a ghost town but even with the people out, they are on edge. A week ago I went on a run and this woman was out with her two sons. I am on my side of the street about to pass them as they are standing around as her unassuming son who is not even aware of the situation jumps in the way. Thankfully, I stop and put my hand in front, shake my head and keep running. I had my airpods in and a few feet past them I hear yelling, the woman starts shouting at me which I largely ignore. According to her, the whole damn sidewalk was meant to be for her and her sons.

About a few days ago, I stay over at a friend’s place for a going away party and I go to her rooftop. Now this i s during the middle of the day when the city would usually be packed with foot traffic and regular traffic as well. We are in one of the busiest areas of the city full of students and young working professionals? What do we find? Have a look below.

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2 PM on a weekday in NYC….

Outside, you see the homeless arguing more aggressively than usual and getting more aggressive with the people who are out and about. You cannot sit down on a bench and enjoy a beautiful day without an aggressive homeless person trying to push you for food and change. While I feel for these people and do think we need a better system in place for them, it becomes too much for me when I am trying to be left alone and get some drugged out homeless getting way too close and not obeying social distancing rules.

A week ago, I hang with my friend and we are out and about chatting. Now my friend is about to head to Florida soon, Tampa specifically, for the time being so I thought we’d hang out. In a row of benches, we find one empty one and sit down to chat, it’s not the worst day. A homeless man approaches a gay couple two benches down from us and they give him food. Now he approaches the couple next to us who give him food as well, we are thinking at this point he would be full and on his way. Now he approaches us to ask for free shit and we don’t have anything for him, instead of eating the food he sticks around and starts trying to butt in on everyone’s conversation, even calling one woman a “bitch” for ignoring him.

Now usually, NYC’s homeless population is somewhat chill. People might beg you for change but if you kindly turn them down, they will leave you alone. Ever since the lockdown happened, it has turned more like the homeless population of San Francisco.

Forget about “game” for now.

I do see women out and about in their yoga pants and wearing clothing that is begging to draw attention to them but forget about game at this point. Cold approaches are not going to be met with much reception due to social distancing rule. Your best bet is doing well on online dating and build up a future pipeline, I’ve added my matches to my IG account and allowed them to follow me. Once again, we are playing the long-game here at best.

But what am I going to do about it?

Well, I have already complained but I am a big believer in the idea that you need to have a plan in place. After thinking about it, I have decided that I am going to take a month off to another location. I still plan to renew my lease but have managed to cut it from 12 months to 6 months for now since I have the money to do so. In my opinion, things will not even start to seem normal in NYC until late 2020 and even then, we have the potential of a second wave coming on. I have until August to get the paper work done to renew my lease as it ends then.

It’s a tricky time, if I do not renew my lease, I have to go through with apartment hunting all over again. If I renew my lease, I am going to be locked in but spending extra on the AirBnB or hotel at whatever place I take a vacation to. Most likely, I am going to be temporarily away from NYC and look for an option to travel out of the city as much as possible in 2020. I think the fun is going to move more to southern cities and red states which are opening up.