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COVID-19 ‘a kind of wet concrete that soon encased our lives and lifestyles’ By Tim Nekritz firstname.lastname@example.org ‘While so many things about the pandemic and the turbulent political times made people feel separated and isolated, it also pulled people together.’ March 11, 2020, sticks in my mind as the day the world turned upside down. That was when events near and far suddenly took COVID-19 out of the abstract and into the concrete — a kind of wet concrete that soon encased our lives and lifestyles. For me, March 11, over the years, was a date of parting with the familiar. A much earlier March 11 is when our first cat, Sylvester, passed away. It was also a March 11 that we bid goodbye (and good riddance) to my mother’s ragged old Pinto (the only working door was the hatchback). The 2020 version felt much more like saying farewell to a world we loved; but in hindsight it also allowed an opportunity to cast off some junk in our lives. On March 11, the governor announced that SUNY and CUNY schools would switch to remote learning at the end of that week. That day, I went to teach what would