Will New York Survive the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?
As a person who was born and raised in Brooklyn, I have always felt that the city of New York could survive just about anything — from natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012 to the attacks which occurred on Tuesday, September 11, 2001…
Will New York Survive the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?
…but in answer to the question which is also the headline of this article, I will answer with a definitive yes — the city of New York will indeed survive the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — so that you do not have to read the rest of this article.
I just concluded a telephone call with a FlyerTalk member whom I have known for years who currently lives in Manhattan — and he seems to feel that the city is slowly dying as a result of the pandemic.
He talks of how hotel properties are filled with either homeless people or prisoners from Rikers Island who have their own rooms — and they can come and go as they please. He claims that people who live within a few blocks of these hotel properties are not as safe as they were before the pandemic.
Many restaurants — including the infamous 21 Club after approximately 90 years — either have permanently closed their doors or their futures remain uncertain.
He said how skyscrapers were built to house thousands of employees who flock to the small island of Manhattan from their homes in the outer boroughs and the suburbs of the city — but with the advent of the increased use of technology as a result of the pandemic, more people work remotely from home; and many may not need to return to the office.
Entertainment has taken a hit as well in New York, with technology offering many new ways to entertain. The classic theaters on Broadway simply do not compete with the advances which are inherent in the 21st century — many of them have seats which do not even recline, as one of numerous examples…
…and because of tax incentives in right-to-work states, the film industry produces movies in such states as Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina. I know this as an actor who works part time on the side.
As the news capital of the United States — as many members of the legacy media which are based in New York — social media has taken over as a source of current events which can be accessed immediately via electronic technology as opposed to purchasing a newspaper or waiting for the evening news to air at 6:00.
Thousands of people have fled New York for greener pastures — some of whom still own real estate in the city — and have been moving to states such as Georgia and Florida, where restrictions during the pandemic have not been nearly as severe. In the Atlanta metropolitan area where I am based, real estate prices have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels; and available houses have become scarce — all because the way of life significantly resembles normalcy prior to the pandemic better than in states like New York and California, where draconian lockdowns and closures have resulted in a far more restrictive way of life.
The governors of other states are heading in the opposite direction and easing mandates on wearing masks: Tate Reeves of Mississippi stated at his official Twitter account that “Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”
Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 2, 2021
Greg Abbott of Texas stated at his official Twitter account: “NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent.”
NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent. pic.twitter.com/P4UywmWeuN
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
Even the attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 — which happened unexpectedly and sent the city of New York reeling into a shock unlike any other in recorded history — were immediate; and despite the 2,977 people who unfortunately died as a result, the city did bounce back…
…while the pandemic treated the city like a frog in water which slowly boils, with the exact damage still uncertain at this time due to deaths which are both direct and indirect results of the pandemic; shuttered restaurants and businesses; and the exodus of people who may never return.
I will not even discuss the significant damage which the city has suffered as a result of inane decisions as decreed by inept politicians and egotistical leaders. You are welcome to do so in the Comments section after the conclusion of this article.
Yes, my friend painted a very bleak picture for New York; and he is finding it more difficult to believe that the city will ever fully recover — or will ever be the same.
In addition to me as being one of the believers that New York will survive after the pandemic and still be a unique city, Jerry Seinfeld and Bonnie Altucher — whose brother James wrote a scathing epitaph which declared that “New York is dead forever” — also are confident that the city which we all call home will thrive.
Yes, I physically left the city of New York as a resident years ago — but the city has never left me. It has never left my heart. It is still home to me in a number of ways…
…and I refuse to give up on my opinion that it is still the greatest city in the world. I cannot wait to return to sample the food on which I grew up and cannot get anywhere else; to visit the architecture and landmarks which helped propel the city to worldwide fame; to ride its subways once again; to drink its amazing tap water, which I still argue is the best on the planet; and to experience its diversity one more time.
Although its recovery will take time, I await the triumphant return of New York in all its glory.
All photographs ©2011 and ©2015 by Brian Cohen.