Today, NYC starts the process of reopening its economy from almost three months of lockdowns to halt the spread of Covid 19.
It is time. The city has massively reduced the spread of the virus in those three months. Here is a chart of infections and testing in Brooklyn over the last three months:
The two things about that chart that get my attention are that the virus is still out there and that testing has massively increased.
Almost 80,000 people were tested in New York State last Thursday, almost 30,000 of them in New York City.
I hope we keep up this level of testing. If we have a uptick in cases as a result of reopening, we can see them, trace them, and react to them. I hope we don’t have an uptick in cases, but now we are so much better prepared to deal with them if we do have them.
Phase one of NYC’s re-opening plan means construction, manufacturing, wholesale and non essential retail businesses will be allowed to reopen.
We are reopening several construction sites that the Gotham Gal and I are running right now. They have been closed since early March. I am so happy that the workers are coming back to work. And we will run those jobs with the proper safety precautions on the job sites to make sure they are safe for the workers.
I am excited to see stores reopen. The lockdown has been very hard on small business owners and I am hopeful that they can rebuild their businesses while remaining under constraints. I plan to shop at stores that are reopening.
But even with all of this energy around reopening, I expect that we will continue the mask wearing and social distancing that we perfected over the last three months. I know that I will.
NYC was the hardest hit of any location in the US this spring with over 200,000 of known cases and likely millions of actual infections. Over 50,000 people were hospitalized and over 20,000 probably died from Covid related illness.
That’s a huge toll. I have lived through many tough moments in my adopted hometown over the last forty years and I think this is the toughest of them all. I think NYC faces enormous challenges recovering from the pandemic, which is still going on and will continue to go on until we have a widely available effective vaccine.
But today is step one of that recovery and I am hopeful and excited to get going again.