The Bright Side of Covid

All the stuff exiting New York City residents leave behind

William (Dollar Bill) Mersey
3 min readOct 29, 2020


Pille-rin-priske — Unsplash

I don’t mean to make light of the seriousness or severity of the covid era. But I like to find silver linings in a dark storm cloud. And I have found a few.

The big one came this past April. I’d been volunteering at a church that feeds the homeless every day. We had a core of more or less daily volunteers on which the church depended. But slowly as the reality of the pandemic hit, they peeled off one by one until there were only two left.

Just when I was beginning to resent the church’s daily pleadings “we really need you tomorrow. I hope you’ll be coming in” (I don’t like volunteering on a schedule), the chief administrator of the program approached me with employment. “We’ve received a covid grant and would like to employ you full time,” he offered.

I’m a freelancer who didn’t need the job financially. But given the circumstances (the church’s need and the restraints of the covid era), I accepted his offer. And thus, while millions lost their job because of the pandemic, I got one.

But beyond that, there are some other collateral benefits to the covid era. Like…if you’re looking to live in New York City, now’s the time!

Rents are down, vacancies are up, and landlords are offering two months free rent to prospective tenants with good credit who’ll sign a lease. When was the last time that happened?

This isn’t a benefit that affects me personally. I’ve lived in the same rent-stabilized apartment for 46 years. Still, it’s great for somebody who’s looking for lodging in the city.

Moving on…this morning, I walked out early to hit my local Rite Aid. Beer is on sale plus I have a $2 coupon which will be expiring soon. I needn’t elaborate, I’m sure. Just a few feet from my door, I spied a pristine-looking garbage bag that had clearly been rummaged through already. I can only imagine what was originally inside because what still remained was a $29 Yeti tumbler (brand new with original pamphlet), one of those expensive low usage light bulbs, a canister of Folger’s coffee, and a fancy mouse pad…



William (Dollar Bill) Mersey

Daily Beast, NY Daily News, Daily Mail, Independent. Top Writer in nothing. Bottom Writer in everything! Curmudgeon first class