COVID: When the future is uncertain, psychics prosper
While most businesses are going under because of the pandemic, psychics and tarot card readers are the new 'brokers.'
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The new normal imposed by the health crisis and the collapse of the economy in most countries has forced us to assume a truth that's been preached since the days of Ancient Greece.
"I only know that I know nothing," said Socrates. However, we have lived pretending that we were wiser than the Delphic oracle itself.
Choking on uncertainty, New York City, a mecca of theater and finance, has become the new Salem, and already many New Yorkers are turning to psychics and astrologers for clues to their future — at least one that is not as critical as the one depicted in the newspapers and on television.
That's what psychic Betsy LaFe told the New York Post. She moved to northern New York after the state of emergency was declared last March and offered her services on the Internet. She now earns almost $1,000 an hour, and her customer base is growing.
"When there's a big change in the world, or more uncertainty in the world, that's when people look for more certainty," said LeFa.
While Kathleen Lee, who has spent 30 years in the 'magic' business, mostly in Manhattan's East Village and with tourists, now mostly attends to the anxious queries of New Yorkers who don't know how to get their lives and economy back on track amid the chaos and fear.
"In my 30 years (of working) I have never had so many clients from the same neighborhood," said the psychic.
Something similar has happened to the clairvoyant Marion Hedger, who is impressed because the people who consult her the most include many health care providers, who have gone through hard times fighting on the front lines while their patients are dying without ventilators or other resources at hand. Now, she confesses, her weekly earnings have doubled as she tries to answer questions that are almost the same: Will I be able to pay the rent next month? When will my children go back to school? Will I get another job?
But New Yorkers also worry about something else besides money and work — love. The pandemic and the social distancing imposed, coupled with mistrust of others as the cause of possible contagion, has completely changed the rules of the love game. If before the question was: "Do you study or work?", now in the first thing asked is: "Have you taken the test?" or "Have you overcome COVID?"
Not to mention the many marriages in crisis after months of confinement.
How many failed stress relationships have New York psychics saved since the viral nightmare began? According to the New York Post, the tarot card reader Kim Allen, quite a few. She can't cope, she said, with the number of couples she has to give advice to over the phone "by looking at the truth" in her cards.
COVID millenarianism are times of superstition.