Crisis and Collective Vulnerability — What’s Your Story?

Elsie Ramsey
1 min readMar 13, 2020


In New York and elsewhere in the States, we’re starting to close down. A hush falls. A new place emerges.

Memories come back of emergencies large and less so: 9/11, the 2003 blackout, Super Storm Sandy.

The standard rules of engagement are off. We enter into more creative and intimate encounters-less transactional; more substantive. “How are you”, for a short period of time, means just that.

A collective vulnerability colors even the most banal actions-we eye our paper towels with appreciation.

Introspection feels unavoidable in the quiet solitude of our apartments. Depending on how willing we are to dive into emotional recesses kept at bay by our daily routines, we emerge changed.

What we hold most dear gets thrown into sharp relief.

What absences ache the most?

What gifts of contingency bring the most joy?

This spell won’t last. We’ll wake up in the coming weeks or months, as if from a dream, and carry on as before.

If we seize the opportunity to fully pause, a reward exists on the other end; a souvenir of great value to carry along back into life.

A feeling, a piece of wisdom, a memory.

Grab it.

Originally published at on March 13, 2020.



Elsie Ramsey

New Yorker, Government Relations Professional, Photographer, Bibliophile