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Walking While Blind in Manhattan

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Blind Man with Guide Dog Outdoors ©Getty Images

Walking While Blind in Manhattan During the Pandemic

I was invited by @NextAvenue, a web magazine owned by @PBS and geared toward older readers, to write about my experience navigating the streets and sidewalks of Manhattan during the pandemic.

As a blind resident navigating New York City during the pandemic, I’ve encountered a city transformed. The usual cacophony of Manhattan, crucial for my spatial navigation, has been replaced by an unsettling quiet due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Accompanied by my guide dog, Inga, each step in this new silence has presented unique challenges.

What has struck me most during these times is the enduring spirit of the New Yorkers. The creativity of restaurants setting up outdoor dining and the kindness of strangers assisting me through these new urban mazes underscore the adaptability and community spirit of this great city.

In these times of change, my experiences walking the streets of Manhattan are a reminder of both the challenges we face and the unyielding resilience of New York City and its inhabitants.

It was a wonderful assignment and has achieved excellent readership. That’s because people are increasingly interested in understanding blindness and disability at a deeper level than has previously been the case, possibly because of their increased experience of isolation during the pandemic. Whatever the reason, I celebrate the instinct behind it.

Here is the link to read the article.

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