Resilience in New York City and COVID-19

It’s 7:10pm on Saturday April 11th in New York City. I know the time because I hear the rousing of clattering of pots and pans outside my window, honoring those risking their lives every day to protect us. It don’t know if I have a right to call myself a New Yorker yet - having only lived here for 13 years – but I have never been prouder of the resilience of this city and how we rally together in the face of adversity.

It’s been a really tough four weeks with many suffering incredible loss and hardship. We are living in a brave new world, where it now feels almost normal to keep our glances low, communicate with our eyes and speak only when necessary from behind our masks. How quickly we adapt.

It’s now been just under 3 weeks since I was last with my husband and my children. That’s an eternity. When I left my family out on Long Island at 4:30am on Monday 23rd March, I couldn’t fathom the idea of not holding my children for anything more than a few days. But the days have now turned into weeks, made easier with video FaceTime at dinner and bedtime to lighten the pangs.

Saturday nights are hard. It’s lonely being here in Brooklyn alone. But it’s been far easier than I expected. Largely because I’ve spent 20 consecutive days in our Plantable kitchen - there’s something to be said for keeping busy - and despite these challenging times, I know we are now stronger than ever. Some days, as those of you who follow us on Instagram know, I’ve even been cooking, and I have loved every minute of it! If I say so myself that Golden Saffron Paella was pretty darn amazing! This period has reminded me of the very beginning days of this company when I was cooking in my kitchen in Brooklyn, vacuum sealing and delivering meals to my first cohort of customers. Through adversity comes strength. And I thank each and every one of my colleagues for their resilience and flexibility through these disconcerting times. You are all amazing.

With the recent drop in new cases in New York City it feels like we are finally turning a gentle corner. This means fewer deaths and a return to more regular economic activity that is desperately needed for so many. But what have we gleaned during these weeks that can remain with us to bring an ameliorated life?

Maybe there is something to be said for taking the foot off the throttle and spending more time at home with family. The skies are now clear from less pollution and fish are swimming once more in the clear waters in Venice. Maybe we'll all come out of this with some long-lasting habits of how we can better treasure our planet and draw less from its resources. And really appreciate just how good a hug feels. Yes, COVID-19 #silverlining.

My lovely friends back in London check in on me every few days hearing the news coming from New York City. They worry about me. And I love them for their care. But I want them to know that I am a New Yorker right now – and I’m proud to be going to work and doing what we are doing. I am proud that we have stayed open and that we are providing the meals for comfort and good health, we all need in these times. I am humbled when customers write to say that they are sending our meals to their mom in Florida to keep her safe and to their best friend in Seattle working 24/7 to find a vaccine solution.

Thank you, New York. You are strong. And the pots and pan that clatter so loudly for those amazing workers on the front line, also cheer for you. We will get through this and once again will breathe air from clean skies and swim again in clear waters.

With love – and please stay safe.

Nadja, Founder xx

Founder & CEO, Plantable (and Mom, missing Luca and Tatiana terribly).