During the pandemic, I have steadfastly followed the directives and advice from health authorities. I’ve kept my vaccinations up to date and still practice social distancing as much as I can.
Today, however, I didn’t follow the advice of those who know better: I went for a bike ride.
Granted, it wasn’t a long or strenuous ride: about 50 kilometers, by my reckoning, along waterfronts, back streets and industrial areas of Queens and Brooklyn. It was flat but a fairly brisk wind blew—and I was riding my fixed gear.
The health authorities have advised against “strenuous” outdoor activity. I don’t think my ride qualifies, although some authorities might disagree.
The reason for that bit of advice have to do with fires in Canada. And the wind here, and in much of eastern North America, has been blowing from the north. As a result, this city is thick with smoke.
I don’t recall a fog so thick that it rendered the Manhattan skyline as barely-visible from Long Island City or Greenpoint as it is today.
Even the sun is no match for the ashen shroud in the sky.
Seeing a boat emerge from the enfumed vista made me wonder whether Charon was ferrying people from one realm to another.
Of course, today’s scene might be nothing more than this.