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I often write about people struggling with the repercussions of lives spent in poverty, and many readers express a desire to help. But the response to Ms. Moura’s circumstance was of another order entirely. Countless emails came in, many from empty nesters offering to give her a room in a house or an apartment. Many more wanted to send her money. CASA, an organization of volunteers helping children and young adults in foster care, collected that money for her. Ms. Moura is saving it all, Kerry Moles, CASA’s executive director, told me, so that she will have a nest egg for an apartment of her own when she graduates from college.

Nervous about entering into another housing situation that inevitably would be short lived, Ms. Moura had returned to the apartment of her father and aunt, where so many of her problems were rooted, and stayed there for several months. She had a long and stressful summer, Ms. Moles said, but reached out for support when she needed it.

This fall though she moved into a dorm space in Queens with roommates and a kitchen. CASA helped her decorate her room. “She’s working hard in school and she has huge aspirations,” Ms. Moles said.

As the rest of the world was unraveling in March, Eva Kollisch and Naomi Replansky greeted the pandemic with a calm born of the long view. Between them they had survived the Spanish flu, the Anschluss, family separation, anti-immigrant bigotry, homophobia and nearly every other ravage of the 20th century.

Together since the 1980s, Ms. Kollisch, 95, and Ms. Replansky, now 102, have spent the pandemic in their Upper West Side apartment safely, in good health. They have been reading and writing prodigiously; they have gone on socially distant picnics. Ms. Replansky, who was a finalist for a National Book Award for poetry in 1952, is now having one of her collections republished and is rereading “The Brothers Karamazov.”

For her part, Ms. Kollisch is working with the Museum of Jewish Heritage for an upcoming exhibit. However driven by their aesthetic passions, the couple is not above Netflix. They watched and loved “The Queen’s Gambit.” Now Ms. Replansky is working on her chess game.



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