South Bronx, NY

Rivka saw change manifest on the bustling sidewalks of New York City. People slowed to stand-stills because they couldn’t walk and think of a cosmic impact of this magnitude. It left the sidewalks crowded with slack-jawed motionless people.

Businesses and municipalities shut down as their workers stopped showing up. Supply distribution chains broke, grocery stores and pharmacies were picked clean. As things fell apart on the ground, the air filled with the private helicopters of New York’s rich and powerful. When the First Lady and her son lifted off, Rivka joined in with the rest of her colleagues, students and over-burdened New York taxpayers on imagining the redecoration of Camp David’s bomb shelter: crystal chandeliers, gold lacquer walls and, of course, slot machines.

But behind the running joke, Rivka felt abandoned as the noisy helicopters made their way to summer cottages in the Berkshires and Catskills, beachfront property at the Hamptons, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard; seemingly safer places with better access to local farms. The modern world had always fled to the cities but now there was a reverse course back to rural fields. The Midwestern states sealed off access to their borders through major highways. The governor of Indiana was rumored to have said, “Flyover Country needs to take care of her own.”

That was when the looting and violence began.

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