My mother died of Alzheimer’s last year but I’ll never forget her favourite places in New York

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hat is it about anniversaries? Is it that the Earth is in the same place as it was relative to the sun, so that we are more or less occupying the same spot in the cosmos as we were? And the length of the day being the same, the light dimming at the same time? You were here, but differently. Something changed when you were in this position before: you were born; you got married; planes hit the Twin Towers; you stopped smoking. The sameness marks the difference between then and now.

A year ago, New York was warming into February after a winter light on snow. The news of the virus hitting China seemed not particularly relevant to many of us; I still have a photo on my phone of a man waiting on the 34th street Downtown C platform that I took in derision of his protective gear: goggles and what looked like a respirator you’d use if you were sanding sheetrock.

Three weeks later, I was far less smug. On 29 February, the first US death by Covid was announced; on 3 March, the first case was reported in New York; on 7 March, Cuomo declared a state of emergency; on 8 March, New York City issued guidelines to avoid densely packed buses, subways or trains. On 12 March, Broadway shut down, and, on 13 March, DeBlasio declared a state of emergency for the city.

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