Ilana Engel

Grasping (1/50), April 2020
16 x 20 in
Brooklyn is my home and NYC is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Many people have fled the city but I decided to stay. It is a surreal time. The streets are empty. The city is crushingly quiet only to be pierced by the screaming sirens of ambulances that race past my apartment. People go to the grocery stores with masked faces, suspicious of anyone they pass on the sidewalk. Kids are home from school. Their lives disrupted by events they can’t even comprehend. Who could have been prepared for what we are living through now? Here, in this city, we like to think of ourselves as tough, ready for anything. But we were not ready. We were not prepared. We are enduring this pandemic like children, moving into it and through it, grasping for normalcy.