Some say the sirens feel like a sad reminder of the rising death figures in NYC, which surged to over 1,000 Tuesday.
“Last night, I was starting a Zoom session and as I was dedicating it to all people who are ill and need of recovery, the sirens started — an ever-present reminder of the increasing toll of people sick and dying,” says Adena Berkowitz, an author who was teaching a digital class on spiritual and practical tips to enhance the Passover Seder.
But Berkowitz says although it may seem like an anxiety-inducing interruption, it’s a reminder to think about those in dire situations. “When hearing those sirens, we should all stop for a moment to say a prayer for healing,” she says.
The sirens have even become a grim reminder of the nation’s dark chapter in 2001, when 2,977 people were killed in the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and four hijacked planes. As of Tuesday, the death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed more than 3,000 nationwide.
Ilene Feinman of Jersey City says she was working downtown when the “planes crashed above my head,” so hearing the “constant” wailing of ambulance sirens is “upsetting” and “heartbreaking.”
“It just makes you feel so helpless,” she says. “It’s like post-traumatic stress disorder, just flashing back to that time when the city was crippled and there was so much hopelessness.”
“When you hear these sirens, you say whoever is in that ambulance, ‘That could be me’ or ‘That could be my parents’ or that could be a close friend.”