It’s Monday, July 6, 2020.
At press time, TheCity.nyc’s COVID-19 tracker shows Manhattan has 27,111 confirmed cases and 3,105 deaths; New York City as a whole has 214,061 cases and 23,201 deaths.
Welcome to Phase Three. Starting today, New Yorkers can once again visit shops for “personal care services” such as manicures, pedicures, massages, tattoos and piercings. (Indoor dining at restaurants, as you must have heard by now, has been postponed).
But this is not a triumphant moment. With virus hotspots in Texas, Florida, and California, and misjudgments by leaders at all levels in almost all states, it’s hard to imagine things getting back to the way things were, pre-COVID, for quite some time.
As the Washington Post reports today, the national 7-day average case total has hit a record for the 27th straight day. A chilling quote in that story:
“…[former FDA Commissioner Scott] Gottlieb voiced doubts about the country’s ability to slow the pandemic, saying waves of infection would probably persist through the rest of the year. The situation was at least as bad as it was during the height of the outbreak in New York earlier this year, he said, except that the country was not dealing with multiple centers of infection…”
On Saturday (7/4), the New York Times posted “The Pandemic’s Big Mystery: How Deadly Is the Coronavirus?” which describes a World Health Organization online meeting last week of 1,300 scientists at which the agency’s chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, said the consensus for now was that the “infection fatality rate” (IFR) is about 0.6 percent.
But that small percentage is deceptive; 0.6 percent of the world’s population equals 47 million people and 0.6 percent of the American population is 2 million people.
And as of today, the national death total is approximately 135,000 dead, or less than 10% of that potential of 2 million dead.
We’re not out of the woods, clearly.
I’m partnering with the New York Public Library’s Summer Reading Program to offer free books for young people of all ages (from toddlers to high schoolers) starting this Wednesday (7/8) for five days at two different NYCHA sites each day. Books will come in a free tote bag and include a summer reading guide, stickers, and a reading tracker.
See the full schedule on my website and here below:
Wednesday, July 8, 2020:
Taft Houses, 10:30 am – 11:30 am. 1730 Madison Ave @ 114th St.
Washington Houses, 12 noon – 1 pm. 1955 Second Ave. (betw. 100th – 101st Sts.), TA Room
Thursday, July 9, 2020:
Polo Towers/Rangel Houses, 10:30 am – 11:30 am. 159-15 Harlem River Drive
Harlem River Houses, 12 noon – 1 pm. 291 West 151 Street (between McCombs and 8th Ave), TA Room
Friday, July 10, 2020:
Vladeck Houses, 10:30 am – 11:30 am. 356 Madison St.
Jacob Riis Cornerstone, 12 noon – 1 pm. 80 Avenue D
Monday, July 13, 2020:
Grant Houses, 10:30 am – 11:30 am. 1295 Amsterdam Avenue (@ 123rd Street), TA Room
St. Nicholas Houses, 12 noon – 1 pm. 225 W. 129 St. (between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Blvds)
Tuesday, July 14, 2020:
Dyckman Houses, 10:30 am – 11:30 am. 3782 10th Ave. (Children’s Arts and Science Cornerstone)
Frederick Samuel Community Center, 12 noon – 1 pm. 669 Lenox Ave.
The Black Lives Matter mural on Centre Street in Foley Square is finished, the street is closed for at least a week, and it’s ready for visitors! Please, come down and see the lettering (take a selfie, even!), and grab some takeout from a downtown or Chinatown restaurant.
Update on city policies: Buses are still boarded from the back until fare collection begins again in August. Alternate Side Parking is suspended citywide through to Sunday (7/12). The ULURP land use timetable is suspended for another five days, until Friday (7/10).
Programming is ramping back up in Bryant Park, with a new Activity Station where visitors can borrow equipment for chess, ping pong, and assorted board games to use within park boundaries. Learn more.
Also “Piano in Bryant Park” jazz performances are back this summer, with pianists performing for free in the park from 12:30 – 2:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Today’s FreshDirect delivery was made to Grant Houses. From there the 500 10-lb food boxes were distributed to Manhattanville and St. Nicholas Houses, with the help of my staff and the local Tenants’ Associations.
And please do call me with any urgent problems or concerns: (212) 669-8191.