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April's text in black pen:

Empty highways. Empty bridges. It's really hard to get used to that. If you're a native New Yorker, or lived here for a while, it's very strange to not hear horns all the time, or walk down the street and not feel the rumble of the subway under your feet.


April's text in pencil:

Cleaners burning everything, rooting people out. Headed downtown again. Chinatown is still... I was about to write "safe." but I don't know what that word means anymore.


Guidebook:

(for those of you who were never backpackers, that stands for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts) or as fancy as energy and protein bars. Consider your dietary needs. In an emergent crisis, food supplies will be quickly (though unsystematically) looted. You should stockpile items that aren't perishable and that pack a lot of nutritional oomph. See "Preparing Your Home," page 91, and "Knowing Where to Find Things," page 57, for more details.

Now that we've addressed water and food, the third fundamental need is SHELTER. (Traditionally, shelter comes before water and

DAMN THIS TRAFFIC JAM

Close to two million vehicles cross into and out of Manhattan from the Bronx, Brooklyn and New Jersey every single day. Each major road into Manhattan operates at well over its design capacity, meaning that it doesn't take long for traffic on, say, the Belt Parkway to have ripple effects all the way up the Brooklyn-Queen Expressway to the Midtown Tunnel.

The congestion of New York City's roads has effects beyond individual frustration. Picking up on our coffee example from earlier, consider a luxury. Imagine a seafood truck making a run from JFK with a load of live lobsters fresh off the plane from Maine. If that truck get hung up on traffic, the seafood market closes, local restaurants don't have their Maine lobster specials, the lobsters die and must be thrown away... and everyone loses. But as I said, that's a luxury. Nobody needs lobster. Now imagine the same situation if that truck is carrying rice or milk or flour - and if there isn't just a traffic jam, but a full shutdown of all routes into Manhattan. Grocery shelves empty out and restaurants shut down. Where do you get food? Even the single day of bridge and tunnel shutdowns after September 11th caused temporary shortages in parts of Manhattan. A prolonged quarantine would very quickly put unsustainable pressure on flood supplies in the city.

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