Can New York Fend Off a Second Wave of the Coronavirus?
By: Evan Mei
Health experts thought that the battle with COVID-19 wasn’t over. Cases should be rising in New York City right about now due to protocol being too relaxed. But, it was a wave that never came; at least not now. Now, health experts predict that there will be a second wave later in the year.
Early spring was a period of pure devastation, but New York controlled it surprisingly well, and contained the virus for longer than even top ranking officials expected. However, New York officials know about the high likelihood of COVID-19 emerging once more after seeing cases in states with prior success stories, such as California and Rhode Island.
The current figures in New York are shockingly successful, with about 1% out of 30,000 who test infected, as opposed to 15% in Houston. Epidemiologists say that the virus is simply no longer in New York the way it once was. Dr Thomas Tsai of the Harvard Global Health Institute said, “New York is like our South Korea.”
But it's not the time for New York to relax, experts warn. Travelers are currently the biggest threat, with a large number of cases in New Jersey just across the Hudson River. Officials are also worried that cities that had good containment records have now had new outbreaks. Hong Kong had to ban indoor dining, and flights to Melbourne, Australia were canceled as cases rose.
New York has been very strategic in reopening. Indoor dining was banned after its link to COVID-19 became more apparent. However, New York’s precautions are merely reducing the risk, not eliminating the virus.
The city has seen an uncomfortable spike in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and large dance parties.
However, the biggest threat by far are tourists that continue to come to New York despite a state mandated 14 day quarantine. The state is unable to answer the question of how many actually follow the mandate.
The biggest infection areas have been continuously connected to Manhattan, including places like Hell’s Kitchen or the Financial District, for example.
“The work force is going to be different for a while,” said Jim Malatras, Governor Cuomo’s advisor on the virus response. He wondered aloud when and how public spaces like movie theaters would be able to open safely and cautiously in the state.
“We’re taking it slow,” he added. “Dave Matthews isn’t performing at Madison Square Garden anytime soon.”