New Yorkers Overwhelmed With Guilt For Leaving The City During Pandemic


The New York Post published an article discussing the massive guilt people have over having left the city during the pandemic.

Whether it was people fleeing to second homes in the Hamptons or Upstate, or millennials moving back into their family home for the first time in years, many New Yorkers left the city seeking space and comfort amid the coronavirus outbreak. Now as the city begins to reopen these same New Yorkers who left the city are feeling guilty over their decision to get out.

One New Yorker says,”“New York City made me who I am, and now I’m leaving her? Did she win? Did she beat me? I’ve always laughed at the weak who leave and move to L.A. Am I less of a man now for leaving?” says Trey Ditto, 40, CEO and founder of Ditto PR. With his wife, Natalia, and their 1-year-old in tow, Ditto abandoned their Williamsburg high-rise for a cabin in the woods near Woodstock, NY, due to COVID-19 fears.

“Feeling guilt for leaving could actually be a response to trauma similar to survivor’s guilt,” says psychotherapist and brain health expert Teralyn Sell.

Jodi Aman, a social worker in Rochester, NY. says they should channel that energy of guilt into coming back to support local business, cook for someone who is struggling or check on people living alone. But they shouldn’t let such feelings cripple their ability to do good. “If people choose to leave and feel badly about it, they can use the energy of that guilt to find someone to help where they are,” Aman says.

“I feel guilty for leaving my plants that have since become brown and wilted and likely will not come back,” says Sara Rogers, a 24-year-old risk analyst at an investment bank, who left the West Village for her parents’ house in Greenwich, Conn. The protests have only made the knot in her stomach bigger. “I feel bad that I’m not there to support my local favorite restaurants and shops,” she says, adding that although she’s donated money online she “could be doing way more.”

Have you left the city to seek more space outside? Are you feeling guilty over leaving NYC behind? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Getty