It’s been a rough week in the Big Apple. I’ve lived in New York City most of my life, through hurricanes and blizzards, terrorist attacks and tourist invasions, not to mention regular teacher/sanitation/transportation/newspaper union strikes, so I am familiar with disruption, inconvenience, and challenge. Never before, however, have I lacked hot water, heat, electricity, and phone or mobile for 4 days or had to use a flashlight in pitch-black stairwells to get to my 8th floor apartment. The subway (metro) has never been so disrupted; schools have never been closed for so long. Automobile and train tunnels are still being pumped out, a week later. How can I convey my shock – this is New York City – 14-ft salt water surges are not on my list of concerns!
My academic home – the NYU School of Medicine — the one that takes out full-page ads in the New York Times every few days bragging of its top-flight, cutting-edge, world-class staff and operations – – is completely shut down and will be for weeks. Huge trucks parked outside say “National Disaster Team.” Men in white hazmat suits bustle around. Billions of dollars of research have been interrupted – maybe ruined. Hundreds of inpatients were evacuated in the middle of the night and outpatient schedules are still a mystery.
I don’t know exactly what this has to do with selling-sickness or disease-mongering, but it definitely disrupted our conference planning for a week. I just thought you’d like to know.