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NY City Living

Coronavirus in NYC: How New Yorkers Cope with a Pandemic

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Coronavirus in NYC: How New Yorkers Cope with a Pandemic

2020-03-13 18:39:17

-by Drew Kolar, Contributing Editor; Image: A man in Brooklyn wears a facemask as fears of the coronavirus outbreak spread. (Image Source: Drew Kolar)

With the spread of the novel coronavirus rising and public reactions nearing hysteria, it is safe to say that New York City is still holding up as well as possible despite some major setbacks we have seen this week.

Grocery stores and pharmacies are running out of many everyday supplies—including hand sanitizer, hand soap, and even toilet paper—but for the most part, locals are taking the business and event closures and overall "panic" in stride.

As of Friday morning, there were a reported 154 cases throughout New York City and 158 cases in Westchester County, according to the New York Times, but although the number of cases in the city has tripled over the course of two days, the government has advised against full-on panic.

"My guess is there are thousands and thousands of cases walking around the state of New York," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Yet even as the numbers rise, he has noted that the rise in cases represents New York's ability to test for the virus as opposed to reflecting the severity of the outbreak.

For those who haven't been paying attention to the barrage of news stories surrounding the current pandemic, the basics are as follows:

  • The coronavirus disease, titled COVID-19, is an infectious disease caused by a virus that hasn't previously been found in humans. The source is unconfirmed, though there are rumors that it may have originated in bats.
  • It causes flu-like symptoms, including cough and other respiratory issues, fever, and in severe cases, pneumonia.
  • COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019.
  • While there is not yet a cure, the easiest way to prevent yourself from contracting the disease is to wash your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face, as the virus spreads through contact with an infected person as they cough or sneeze, or through saliva or nasal discharge.

As for New York City, many precautions are being taken to keep the public as safe as possible, including canceling events of 500 or more people and shutting down Broadway for at least the next month. The city, however, will still not sleep, despite rumors of a mass shutdown.

According to NY1, despite rumors across social media that the city plans to shut down its trains and roadways and bring in the Army to control the outbreak, those are simply that: false rumors.

"NO, there is NO TRUTH to rumors about Manhattan being quarantined. Whoever is spreading this misinformation, PLEASE STOP NOW!" Mayor Bill de Blasio posted on Twitter on Thursday in response.

The NYPD also retaliated:

"THERE IS A LOT OF MISINFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

ONE TWEET IN PARTICULAR IS FALSE. CONTRARY TO WHAT IT SAYS THERE ARE NO PLANS BY THE NYPD TO SHUT DOWN ROADWAYS OR SUBWAYS."

Still, while many New Yorkers have been advised work from home to retain their office jobs, many other city workers—especially service industry workers—are concerned for their future.

So far, across the board, the effects can already be seen in the bar and restaurant scene. One major example is the 800-seat Jing Fong, the city's largest Chinese restaurant, which was forced to temporarily close on Thursday after 48 years in business once Gov. Cuomo announced that gatherings of over 500 people would be banned, the New York Post reports.

Even Brooklyn establishments, at least from firsthand experience, have seen a slow decline in business, but for now, Manhattan seems to be the worst borough hit. Broadway is dark, concerts and other large events are canceled, and the threat of more closures looms—yet New Yorkers have been mostly cursing the fact that they will be losing money.

In an upcoming series, AllMediaNY will continue to track the coronavirus through its spread across the five boroughs and will be interviewing locals who are affected by the lifestyle changes we have been and will be facing. In the meantime, the New York City Mayor's Office has released a phone number (692692) where you can text "COVID" for real-time updates. Stay safe, wash your hands, and remember that medical professionals still consider this simply another flu-like virus that we are working to contain.

Please continue to follow AllMediaNY for further stories throughout the span of this ongoing epidemic.

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