ReportIn a few weeks, the city and its surroundings have become a major focus of the epidemic in the United States. Hospitals and museums, poor and wealthy, all components of the city are organizing themselves as best they can, in fear of a health disaster.
Chance Landesman set off in the wooded mountains of Maine, 650 kilometers north of New York. The 21-year-old Brooklyn student fled with five friends to a wealthy home to escape the coronavirus. There he started building a greenhouse, and fed the chickens, keeping his eye on his smartphone and his stock market. Wall Street plunges, America has 3.3 million additional unemployed in a week, New York is a closed city, surrounded by coronavirus, but the kid made a small fortune on the Stock Market by betting on the collapse of the financial markets .
It was five weeks ago, a fraction of the time, but forever. This Monday, February 24, we are still in the old world. The stock market has reached historic highs. No case of coronavirus has yet been detected in New York. We will have to wait for Sunday 1er March to announce the first patient, a paramedic returned from Iran. Chance Landesman, who has learned to quibble on the Robinhood app, sees the economic and health catastrophe that has already hit Asia and then Europe. "I thought we were going to have a recession. The coronavirus epidemic was going to be the trigger, and I sold short. " He bet all his savings, as well as a donation made by one of his uncles for his 18th birthday. Four weeks later, he multiplied his bet by 25 (dropped to 16 in the meantime) and flew to Maine. "I love New York, but there was nothing left to make it fun", he says to World by telephone.
Curious impression. Chance Landesman is timeless, but in the world. He suspended his studies in philosophy and religion, and is passionate about finance. "I've been waiting for a major change for a long time, he continues. Many young people have a more apocalyptic vision, with climate change and economic prospects. We quickly got worried, while the old people were late. "
The "Old", as he says, are confined to New York. Her mother, for example: Shanny Peer, director of the French House at Columbia University, who stayed in her Brooklyn home. "I do yoga. My club teaches courses on the Internet ”, she tells us. Everything went so fast … Suddenly, the university decided to close, like other New York institutions. "I work more or less at home, even if I cannot organize events. I am paid. Everyone is paid for the moment, we are not talking about layoffs. " Everything is canceled, including the graduation ceremony, which is usually attended by tens of thousands of students. And we hope for a recovery in September, without really being sure. The priority? Avoid illness. "I think I have the virus, Shanny Peer continues. Ten days ago, I had a little fever and aches. And then I lost the taste and the smell. However, since the federal government is incompetent, tests are very rare and cannot be done. In any case, I pretend that I have the disease. "