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letters from the pandemic #3 May 17 2020

Yesterday it was March 5th and today is May 17th, it seems to me that the past two and a half months have passed in a blink of an eye, not that I needed any proof for it, but it shows me once again that perception of time is highly subjective.

It is not that nothing has happened in the world - quite to the contrary - but I was only marginally involved, mostly through social media phone calls and e-mails, not counting our grand total of 4 grocery shopping trips, I have seen and spoken with, maybe a dozen people in person.

Thousands of New Yorkers have died, hundred of thousands have lost their jobs and livelihood, all in close proximity, we have lost a friend and a grandson was born to us, yet I experienced this all more or less remotely from my apartment.

We all, who were not “essential” for the basic needs of our society, must have experienced some sort of this sensation, living a remote life, without any real interaction with the world, it left me with a heightened sense of anxiety and disorientation.

The only real proof for me, that time has passed, (other than seeing my hair grow) is in the stack of self portrait drawings I have made during 60 days of self quarantine. Although the situation is not resolved and we still need to protect ourselves and others with social distancing, wearing masks and gloves, it’s time to venture out again into the new 'normal', cautiously going back to the studio and arrange things for work and resume life. Today I drew my last ‘pandemic’ self portrait (they can all be viewed at, My heart goes out to all of those who have lost loved ones, I sincerely hope that the main disruption of our lives lays behind us and we will not have to experience a second wave of infections. David Stern, NYC May 17 2020


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