[Ed. – I wondered how much of this there would be. There are plenty of people in places like suburban California deciding the ‘burbs are too crowded and they need to move to small towns in more remote places. As with New Yorkers, the virus onslaught is impelling them to just do it, and clean up the logistics later.]
Wendy Silverstein never thought she’d leave New York City for good. The 58-year-old design publicist has called her beloved East Village apartment home for 30 years.
But then COVID-19 threatened her husband, John Crellin, a 71-year-old retired architect with a chronic health condition. So on March 18, as the specter of the coronavirus loomed, she scoured their East Fourth Street apartment for enough clothes and supplies to last roughly a year. A few days later, they drove 2½ hours north to Canaan, NY, a tiny town in Columbia County where her stepdaughter works as a veterinarian.
For now, Silverstein and Crellin have been able to stay rent-free in a red-sided house owned by a friend’s friend. But they plan to stay longer — because one thing that’s become clear as they settle into life outside the city is that they’re probably not coming back. Even if it’s deemed safe to return, they’ve become disillusioned.