Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared an official state of emergency in New York City and while he made clear that the city is not under quarantine, residents of the area immediately began to stock up on essentials and supplies.
“To help halt the community spread of COVID-19, I’ve declared a state of emergency in New York City,” the mayor tweeted. “There are a lot of rumors at a time like this, so here are the simple facts: We have 95 confirmed cases of COVID-19. We know that’s going to grow quickly. We are taking new precautions that every New Yorker will feel in their daily lives.”
He went on to explain that gatherings of 500 people or over will be temporarily banned, which includes “parades, rallies, sporting events, conferences and performance venues.” Businesses are further required to cut their occupancy in half to encourage social distancing in an effort to minimize community spread.
Doing little to stem the panic, de Blasio admitted that coronavirus “could easily be a six-month crisis and the recovery from it could take a long time.” He also warned that in the event of a long-term situation, he is ready to “provide free legal” and “short-term support” to anyone who may face eviction as a result of the virus’ impact on the economy.
Additionally, de Blasio could potentially be “activating emergency food contracts for those who may be stuck in their homes for an indefinite period of time. That being said, public schools in New York City are remaining open and any closures that happen in the future will be handled on a case-by-case basis, as opposed to a blanket closure like we’ve seen in other areas of the country.
Grocery stores saw utter pandemonium and chaos following de Blasio’s announcement as “#coronavirusnyc” trended on Twitter, documenting the madness. Shelves were cleaned out and supermarket lines stretched out business doors.
8am Trader Joe’s line around the block. #coronavirusnyc #nothingnew pic.twitter.com/QJ7yWbS9Rh
— DylonDylonDylon (@DylanHallagan) March 13, 2020
At least this business knows what products to discontinue ?#Coronavirusnyc pic.twitter.com/qcD1uQW4dl
— Alphabate (@Alphabate5) March 13, 2020
The Trader Joe’s must be cleared out by now. This one was running low this afternoon #Coronavirusnyc pic.twitter.com/Iyj7gdbjni
— elliot sperber (@elliot_sperber) March 12, 2020
#TraderJoes in downtown Manhattan, on 6th Ave & Spring St. Ppl have lost their goddamn minds. I’ve never seen anything like this. #Covid_19 #CoronavirusPandemic #panicbuying #apocalypse2020 #NYC #masshysteria #GodHelpUs #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/PUwXQVuqyd
— Tiffany Chantel (@tiffchanteuse) March 13, 2020
While de Blasio admitted that there were only 95 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City, that number is up substantially from the 50 cases the city had on Wednesday. Everyone including the mayor expects that number to skyrocket.
British conservative Katie Hopkins noted on the confusion in NYC as everything appears to be closed. Or is it?:
With that in mind, people are bashing de Blasio for not shutting down schools, which are a breeding ground for germs during even the healthiest of times.
Cancel the schools you absolute nonce?
— Arthur (@Artentional) March 13, 2020
Teachers: call 212-331-6311 and COMPLAIN about the conditions of #NYCSchools—no proper cleaning, no measures to contain or mitigate spread, and continuing to keep schools open, endangering faculty, staff, students and families.
Students and families call 311. #Coronavirusnyc
— RESISTNYC? (@nyc_erik) March 13, 2020
Close the schools, you will be held responsible. We are weeks away from becoming like Italy
— jdj (@yusufisamazing) March 13, 2020
This is so irresponsible.. you’re forgetting that teachers have families at home too.. the meal that’s provided isn’t worth the health of their loved ones at home.. one child gets it then you’re putting thousands at risk.. hopefully you reconsider and #CloseTheSchools
— Miguel B (@KO_Migz) March 13, 2020
So let me get this straight. NYC gatherings of more than 500 banned, yet Harry Truman HS in the Bronx is open and there are over 3000 student and 500 staff members. How does this make sense?!!! #closenycschools
— Moe (@moeboricua) March 13, 2020
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