COVID-19 in NYC: Lines, Distancing and Density Reduction, OH MY

COVID-19 in NYC: Lines, Distancing and Density Reduction, OH MY

It’s only a day since NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ‘PAUSE’ Executive Order was signed. New Yorkers are instructed to keep their distance. Instructed not to go out unnecessarily and to be aware.

Part of the line outside one Walgreens in New York City

Well, we had to go out this afternoon for some much needed items. It all honestly felt like business as usual. Nothing special at the bank. Folks on line waiting for a teller as if it was just another regular day. Such was the scene at a few other locales. It was as if people were merely having an off-day and not exactly trying to stay clear of each other. We did our own best to keep our distance.

Yet, one merchant stood out. We were stopped at the entrance to Walgreens and told to get in line. I hadn’t noticed it at first but after looking, I saw it. Sure enough, there were nearly a dozen folks in the parking lot. Each individual or couple spaced out at least six feet behind the next. The fella at the door made sure we were distanced enough with the occasional yell. Memories from my time in the military came back to mind.

After getting inside and finding that which we needed, we went through the same thing for the checkout. Yep, another drill sergeant made sure we weren’t getting too close to each other. He pointed out the taped markings on the floor. He yelled about how each marker was six feet away from the next. I believed him…since heck, pushups weren’t on my ideal set of tasks this afternoon. He spent a bit of time explaining how he’s never ever hit any of his kids. Why? His yelling did all the ordering and instructing needed, he said. I couldn’t help imagining his kids walking around with pumped up biceps and forearms. Need I explain why?

Sign inside of Walgreens.

So, it was an interesting shopping trip for us. Good to see one store taking responsibility. Unfortunately, what I learned is how, at least in this neighborhood, people won’t bother with the social distancing unless outright told to do so. At that Walgreens’ pharmacy, in the back of the store, is another line for medicines pickup and such. Not a soul on that line cared, or rather, they weren’t aware enough. They were standing practically heel to toe. Surely, the Sergeant had no idea about this.

Does this say that people out there still don’t get it? I’m not sure. I’m hoping for the best and I’m hoping we don’t end up going too far with all of this. I mean, in the way of curfews and mandatory travel restrictions, and with checkpoints and all. Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies. But then, who’d have thunk several weeks ago that we’d be in this spot today? The governor, who repeatedly rejected our mayor’s pleas to shut down the city ended up doing almost exactly that. Although, out of respect for the semantically inclined he’d argue that he didn’t. Regardless of what you’d like to call it, it’s done. The question remains, will it be enough? ‘and how much of that which the governor’s ordered will be enforced?

Don’t get me wrong. I want what’s best for all of us. If, in fact, things get worse with an explosion of new cases then so be it. Do what’s needed. But, that’s exactly that which irks me. Mayor de Blasio predicted our first thousand cases and stated how we’d (NYC) soon be at 10,000. Something which is right around the corner from the time of this writing. It’s no secret. They know where we’re headed. So, how about not pussyfooting around and acting? Acting with responsibility, serious intention, and bluntly telling us what’s needed and what’s on the horizon. Otherwise, it’s politics as usual.