It's All Sold Out, It's Nothing | -19,’20 | Issue No. 23
If the constant wail of sirens blaring on eerily empty streets wasn’t indication enough, the sight of more masked Brooklynites is certainly a sign that something’s shifted. And it’s strange how for a few minutes, if you can only see what’s in front of you, things can almost feel normal and like nothing major’s changed. And then you look down at your phone, and underneath it on the sidewalk, another unrolled, discarded purple glove. It’s scary, and it’s nice, and it’s quiet, and it’s maddening. But I wouldn’t know because I’m afraid to go outside.
This week, we’re doing it all from home.
FIRST we went underground, and stayed as long as we could.
THEN we called the cops, but they all called in sick.
NEXT we went to the doctor, for our weekly check up.
THEN our team washed its hands of this whole thing.
NEXT we talked about sex, from a safe and social distance.
THEN we went to the library, by way of our computer.
NEXT we checked our messages.
And finally, we checked the weather.
Staying inside for everyone’s safety, sometimes feels like the night could last forever. But if you closed the door, I’d never have to see the day again...in Brooklyn, USA.
“It’s Like Nothing’s Even Going On”
by Justin Bryant and Christopher Murrell
In times of crisis, the term first responder is used mostly to describe the city’s Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical personnel. But as it has always been the case, and revealed again by our current state of emergency, there are millions of other New Yorkers who risk their lives to keep our city moving when it grinds to a halt, and who’s heroism often goes unsung. They keep the lights on, the supermarkets stocked, the laundry cleaned, the water wet, the trash taken, the packages delivered, and the internet flowing, hellishly and fast. We’re gonna check in with some of New York’s other first responders throughout the course of this pandemic, but we started, as most days start here, on the subway, where musician, comedian and train operator Christopher Murrell gave us a tour of the underground, and a glimpse at what life’s been like down there since the COVID train left the station.
Mert Erogul, MD
by Ross Tuttle and Sachar Mathias
On last week’s show, we met Mert Erogul – an Emergency Room doctor in a local Brooklyn hospital that’s been completely overtaken and overburdened by The Rona. The conditions he described from behind the pale blue curtain shook us to the core, so we called him up again this week, to find out if things had gotten any better.
They Expect You To Be There
by Ross Tuttle and Sachar Mathias
By March 19th, the NYPD had 20 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Two weeks later, by April 1, that number had jumped to nearly 1200. If the reporting is accurate, it indicates the number of confirmed infections is roughly doubling in the Department every two days – in a city where cases are doubling every 5-and-a-half. On the day we published this episode, April 3, it was reported that two more members of the NYPD had died from the Coronavirus.
As with all Covid-19 statistics, the number of cases may simply reflect who’s being tested. And some officers suggest there’s more to the story. Some, who feel the Department may have put their lives at risk by being unprepared, not acting early enough, and not adequately informing them of the dangers they faced – a story as old as the institution itself.
We spoke with two long-time members of the force, to find out what measures were being taken, what happens when an officer’s too sick to report for duty, and if they feared they’d already become one of the growing number of NYPD officers infected with the COVID-19 virus.
For one officer, the Department’s response to the COVID-19 crisis conjured memories of the last time the city was brought to its knees. As a 9/11 first responder, he experienced, firsthand, the City’s failure to protect the ones who serve, by command, on its frontlines.
It Always Feels Like A Party
by Charlie Hoxie
The Brooklyn Public Library has digitized many of their programs. You can now join online book clubs and knitting circles, compete in dungeons & dragons tournaments, and, as we'll see in this week's show, hear children's stories read aloud by a drag queen.
Weekend Weather with Griffin
Produced by Emily Boghossian, Taylor Cook, and Lauren
Weekend forecast for Brooklyn, New York brought to you by Junior Meteorologist Griff City.
If you have something to say and want us to share it, all you have to do is...
- Call (917) 719-0021 to reach our Voicemail Box
- Tell us your name, neighborhood, email (we’ll edit this out – just want to know how to reach you!)
- Tell us any and all of the things that you need or want to say.
- It can be a story, a joke, a secret, or a fact.
- It can be something that you overheard from six feet away, or have been thinking about, worrying about, or a thing that made you smile.
- It can be a way that you're coping with, processing, and navigating this moment, and what you’re hoping that the next one holds.
- It can be a movie recommendation, a book you love, a self care tip or breathing technique that you’re finding very useful...
- or anything else that you want to share with the world!
And if you’d rather just record yourself and send it in, just...
- Open up your phone’s Voice Memos / Voice Recorder app and hit RECORD.
- Follow Steps 2 & 3 (from before).
- Email the audio file to email@example.com.
We’re here when you need us, and we can’t wait to hear from you.
See you on the other side, in Brooklyn, USA.
Brooklyn, USA is produced by Sachar Mathias, Emily Boghossian, Shirin Barghi, Khyriel Palmer, Mayumi Sato and Charlie Hoxie, with help this week from Ross Tuttle, Justin Bryant, Chris Murrell, Junior Meteorologist Griff City, Lauren, Taylor Cook, and John Redmond – who provided the soundtrack for this show.
For more information on this and all BRIC Radio podcasts, visit www.bricartsmedia.org/radio.