There’s no sex in this city, or hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.
Candace Bushnell, author of the iconic “Sex and the City,” is riding out coronavirus panic in a quaint bay side village in the Hamptons with her two dogs and a supply of rice and beans
“The reality is that I work at home and I have done that for 35 years,” Bushnell told The Post, speaking from her house in Sag Harbor. “I’ve been practicing social isolation for a long time.”
Unlike many of her wealthy neighbors who decamped to their sprawling Hamptons homes last week, stocking their freezers with panic purchases of thousands of dollars worth of steaks and prepared gourmet dinners, Bushnell, 61, said she is going about her normal routine and monitoring the spread of the virus as best she can.
“I am worried,” said the best-selling novelist and television producer whose first book spawned HBO’s “Sex and the City,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker. “I feel that it’s a mistake not taking this seriously. About 20% of people who get sick are needing hospitalization. The best thing I can do is stay home and try to stay healthy.”
Her latest book “Is There Sex in the City” was published last summer, and takes place in the Hamptons.
So far, 37 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Suffolk County, including a woman in her 70s who lives in East Hampton. A group of 26 university students who returned from study abroad programs in high-risk countries were quarantined at Stony Brook’s Southampton campus last week as a precaution.
Bushnell said she was “obsessively” reading local news reports last week, and worried that a cluster of nine cases in the town of Southold on the North Fork all involve young people, not in high-risk groups. “What’s scary out here is that the people in hospital are all in their 20s,” she said.
Despite her concern, Bushnell said she has only a small amount of hand sanitizer at home and has not embarked on panic buying at the local supermarket, where she limits her trips to once a week. Besides, Bushnell said she doesn’t have a great deal of freezer space in the “modest” 1,300 square-foot home she purchased in the village nearly four years ago.
“I bought rice and beans,” said Bushnell, who does all her own cooking. “I don’t normally buy that, but it seemed like the thing to do.”
Dinner and other social invitations from friends have evaporated as they hunker down in their own homes in the area, she said. “Honestly, my life can be pretty solitary anyway,” she said. “When I’m out here, I’m working and not being that social.”
Before coronavirus, Bushnell divided her time between an apartment on the Upper East Side and the Sag Harbor home. Now she said she is staying put, spending her days writing and walking her standard poodles, Prancer and Pepper, on the beach where she can keep “a good distance” away from people.
But there are drawbacks to living on the eastern end of Long Island. For one thing, hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol have been sold out for more than a week, and deliveries to Long Island could start to become a problem during the panic over coronavirus, she said.
“Who knows? Maybe supermarkets will start to ration food,” she said. “Right now, when you go to a supermarket and see the empty shelves, there’s a feeling that it’s everyone out for themselves.”
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