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“City of Transition”: New York fights to turn pandemic pages


Starting Wednesday, vaccinated New Yorkers can take off their masks in most situations, and restaurants, stores, gyms and many other businesses are vaccinated to prove that all patrons have been vaccinated. You can get it back to full operation by checking your card or app.

The subway has resumed operation 24 hours a day this week. The curfew for bars and restaurants will be lifted by the end of the month. Broadway tickets are on sale again, but no show will end until September.

Officials say last spring was the moment in New York to shake off the image of a city kneeling down due to the virus. This is a bitter recovery on the latest cover of The New Yorker magazine. It shows part of a huge door-opening into the city skyline and incorporating rays.

Is Big Apple returning to its old, cheeky self?

“Maybe 75% …. it’s definitely coming back to life,” said personal trainer Mark Kumar, 24.

However, 63-year-old Ameen Deen said: There are too many dead. There is too much suffering. There is too much inequality. “

Last spring, America’s largest city was also the hotspot of the most deadly coronavirus in the United States, killing more than 21,000 people in just two months. Blacks and Hispanics die at a significantly higher rate than whites and Asian Americans.

The hospital was full of patients and corpses. A refrigerated trailer acted as a temporary morgue, and a tent was set up in Central Park as a COVID-19 ward. The busy streets of New York have become quiet, with the exception of ambulance sirens and nightly cheers from the windows of the apartment for healthcare professionals.

A year after decline, surge, reopening and closure, the city hopes vaccination is heading in the right direction. Approximately 47% of residents have experienced at least one dose so far. About 20 people die a day in the last few weeks, and new cases and hospitalizations have plummeted since the winter waves.

After the crisis that killed 3.4 million people worldwide, including more than 587,000 in the United States, a large part of the country and the world is beginning to return to normal.

Las Vegas casinos have returned to 100% capacity and there are no social distance requirements. Disneyland, California, opened at the end of last month after being closed for more than 400 days. Massachusetts announced this week that all virus restrictions will expire on Memorial Day weekend.

With the resumption of summer music festivals like Lollapalooza, the Indy 500 supports more than 100,000 fans. The federal government states that fully vaccinated adults no longer need to wear masks.

France will also reopen on Wednesday, with the Eiffel Tower, Parisian cafes and cinemas and the Louvre Museum bringing back visitors for the first time in months.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared “Summer in New York City.”

There are other signs that New York is rejuvenating. Approximately 80,000 city officials returned to the office this month, at least some time, joining many city officials who had never worked in remote areas.

Subway and commuter train passenger numbers average around 40% of normal, after plunging to 10% last spring when the subway system began to shut down for hours overnight for the first time in more than 115 years of history. ..

Late-working artist and deliveryman Shakeem Brown in Manhattan returned to his Queen’s apartment on Monday for up to three hours of night commute before resuming 24/7 service. 26-year-old Brown said it was “refreshing” to see things open.

At the e’s Bar on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, co-owner Erin Bellard said he “feels the energy” of social life. “People are very excited to go out.”

Still, receipts at bars and grills have been reduced by about 35% due to time and capacity pandemic limits, she said. The imminent end of the curfew gives the bar two more important times, and owners are investigating patrons to determine whether to regain full capacity by requesting vaccination. I am planning.

From other vantage points, “normal” looks far away.

For example, sidewalks and skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan are still noticeably empty. Employers of large corporations rarely want to increase their workforce until the fall and only when they feel safe, CEO Catherine Wilde of the New York City Partnership, a major employer group. ) Said.

“Shutdown was easy. After meeting with the CEO group last week, Wild said,” it’s hard to restart. “

In addition to fear of the virus, she said businesses and workers are wondering about safety.

Crime in the city is becoming more and more a concern, but it’s a complicated situation. Murders, shootings, felony assaults, and car thefts increased in the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2019 before the pandemic, while robbery and large-scale thefts decreased. The same was true for transportation system crimes, probably due to reduced passenger numbers.

Brandon Goldgrub returned to his Midtown office in July, but only in the last few weeks he noticed that the sidewalks seemed a bit crowded again.

“I feel more normal now,” said real estate manager Gold Glove, 30,.

Visiting from Tallahassee, Florida, Jessica Subha looked around Midtown and felt hope for the city she once lived in.

“The only thing I’ve heard elsewhere in the country is that New York was a ghost town, which doesn’t feel like that,” said 47-year-old Souva.


Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak contributed to this report.


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