Australian Amelia Banks senses the coronavirus closing in on her in New York.
The 28-year-old, who moved into a Brooklyn flat with her husband just six weeks ago, recently overheard a neighbour confirm they had COVID-19.
That means Ms Banks lives next door to one of the nearly 52,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City with the wider state accounting for more than 40 per cent of United State's virus-related deaths.
She can see police officers patrolling the streets outside and directing people via megaphone to stop loitering and stay inside.
"When we need to venture out for groceries there are definitely feelings of anxiety and trepidation," Ms Banks told AAP on Friday.
"It's pretty full-on walking down the street when everyone is wearing masks and gloves. People will consciously cross the road to avoid each other."
There's also "constant ambulance sirens throughout the day and late at night".
"I've never heard anything like it - it's harrowing," the 28-year-old said.
Ms Banks, a communications manager who calls Sydney home, is grateful to still have her job.
Her new daily routine includes working from the couch while finding time to exercise on the building's rooftop.
She and her husband also watch rolling news updates with Ms Banks describing the daily briefings by New York governor Andrew Cuomo as a "source of comfort".
Mr Cuomo's news on Thursday was that New York state had just six days' worth of ventilators left at the current rate of usage.
The state's virus-related deaths have hit 2373 and now account for 42 per cent of the US total.
New York state also reached 92,381 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Australia hit 5224 cases on Friday morning.
But Ms Banks doesn't regret staying put in New York.
"We're in constant contact with our families and if it gets to the point where things are too dangerous then we'll reassess our situation and make the necessary moves to try and get home," the Sydneysider said.
It's a similar story for Sophie Allan, a 29-year-old Melbourne woman studying for an MBA in Manhattan.
Ms Allan and her husband have been in self-isolation for more than three weeks - only venturing outside for groceries or exercise.
"We have received a lot more messages from home this week as the situation in NYC has escalated," she told AAP on Friday.
"It is terribly sad to know what is going on in this great city.
"The growing case count has reinforced the importance of staying home but we feel quite safe because we are following all the rules."
Australian Associated Press