Lesson from Coronavirus: Build Better Balconies

From my living room on the fourth floor, I can see treetops swaying in the springtime breeze, and I can feel the warmth of the sunlight spilling onto my lap. The great outdoors and its surreal calmness (as if there isn’t a novel virus wreaking havoc across the globe) are right on the other side of my window, and yet in the age of social distancing, the obstacles to get there seem immense.

For those of us in apartment buildings, every leg of the journey, from the apartment front door to the outside world, could increase our chances of catching the virus. The narrow hallways and small elevators could put us too close to our neighbors and their germs; door handles and buttons carry yet more risk.

If only I had one of those, I mutter as I look over to my neighbors’ balconies. I daydream

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